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Residential Sales Increase by 10 Per Cent in April in the Montréal Area

 

L’Île-des-Soeurs, May 4, 2018 – The Greater Montréal Real Estate Board (GMREB) has just released its most recent residential real estate market statistics for the Montréal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), based on the real estate brokers’ Centris® provincial database. In total, 5,432 residential sales were concluded in April 2018, a 10 per cent increase compared to April of last year. This was the 38th consecutive increase in sales and the best month of April in eight years. Click here to watch the April 2018 statistics video.

Sales by geographic area

Apart from Vaudreuil-Soulanges, where sales were unchanged compared to April of 2017, all of the other main areas of the Montréal CMA registered a significant increase in sales.

 Suburban areas led the way, as sales rose by 15 per cent on the South Shore, by 13 per cent in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and by 12 per cent in Laval and on the North Shore.

 As for the Island of Montréal, sales increased by 6 per cent.

Sales by property category

Condominium sales soared once again in April with an 18 per cent increase in transactions. In fact, this was the twelfth consecutive month of double-digit sales growth for this property category.

 Single-family homes and plexes both registered a 6 per cent increase in sales compared to April of last year.

Prices

Prices were contained across the Montréal CMA in April. The median price of single-family homes stood at $317,000, a 4 per cent increase compared to one year earlier.

 The median price of condominiums increased by 2 per cent to reach $245,350, while that of plexes increased by 3 per cent to reach $500,000.

Number of properties for sale

Across the Montréal CMA, there were 25,466 active residential listings in the Centris® system in April, a 17 per cent drop compared to April of 2017.

"The decrease in the number of properties for sale means that market conditions are becoming increasingly favourable to sellers," said Mathieu Cousineau, President of the GMREB Board of Directors.


Home prices in Montreal expected to rise by 5.5% in 2018, according to a forecast released by Royal LePage

April 4, 2018 Montreal Gazette:
The forecast predicts that the aggregate price of a home in the region will rise from $387,000 to $408,285 over the course of the year.

“We’ll have a very strong market, the fundamentals are going to remain strong,” said Dominic St-Pierre, senior director for the Quebec region at Royal LePage, “2018 should be an even better year than 2017.”
Home prices in the Montreal region were up five per cent in November, when compared to November 2016, according to the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board.
That increase is the result of a growing economy and the lowest unemployment rate that Montreal has seen in decades, according to Royal LePage.
“It is absolutely the fundamentals that are driving it,” St-Pierre said. 
He points to a recent Conference Board of Canada survey on consumer confidence. It found that 45.6 per cent of Quebecers think now is a good time to make a large purchase, like real estate.
“I’ve never seen that in my working life,” St-Pierre said. “People have confidence in the economy, unemployment is very low, interest rates are still pretty affordable, so you have the perfect elements for a strong market.”
Only Toronto will see a higher pace of real-estate price growth, according to the Royal LePage forecast, which predicts that the Toronto area will see prices rise by 6.8 per cent in 2018. Vancouver was third, with prices forecast to grow by 5.2 per cent.
Price growth will be slowed by an upcoming change in mortgage rules, St-Pierre said.
As of Jan. 1, 2108, all borrowers will have to prove they can pay the qualifying interest rate – the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or two per cent more than their contractual mortgage rate, whichever is higher – before they can get a mortgage.
Currently, this “stress test” applies only to borrowers with a down payment of less than 20 per cent.
However, this change will have less impact on Montreal’s property market than in Toronto and Vancouver, because prices are lower here.
Interest rates are also expected to rise slightly over the course of the year. 
While there has been growing interest in Montreal from foreign buyers, that is not pushing prices up.  
“It has grown a lot over the last couple years,” St-Pierre said. “It’s still very small numbers though, it’s still one, 1.5 per cent of the market. It’s not driving the market right now.

New mayor wants power to levy foreign-buyers’ tax on real estate​
November was best Montreal real-estate month in years

2018-2019 Provincial Budget:

The GMREB Welcomes the Measures Related to Real Estate and Housing:
The Greater Montréal Real Estate Board (GMREB) has examined the provincial budget tabled yesterday by Finance Minister Carlos Leitão, and is pleased with all of the government’s measures related to real estate and housing.

The GMREB particularly welcomes the measures that promote homeownership and encourage debt reduction for first-time buyers. The introduction of a non-refundable tax credit for the purchase of a first home is one of these measures.

Thus, starting in 2018, eligible first-time buyers will be able to take advantage of a tax deduction of $5,000 to help defray the costs of incidental expenses not covered by a mortgage, such as inspection fees, property transfer taxes, notary fees and moving expenses. Combined with the federal tax credit, the Québec tax credit could allow eligible Québec buyers to obtain up to $1,376 in tax relief following the purchase of their first home ($750 through the Québec tax credit, $626 through the federal tax credit).

The GMREB is also pleased with the extension of the RénoVert refundable tax credit, a program that provides assistance equal to 20% of eligible residential renovation expenses that exceed $2,500.

The March 2018 Québec Economic Plan also provides for an investment of $103.9 million reserved for the City of Montréal for the construction of affordable housing units, residential adaptations for persons with disabilities and housing renovations in rundown residential areas. This amount represents 37% of the total investment in those three programs. 

The GMREB welcomes the reduction in the tax rate for Québec’s SMEs, a measure that may affect several real estate brokers and agencies. The March 2018 Québec Economic Plan provides for a gradual reduction over three years from 8% to 4% in the tax rate of SMEs in the service and construction sectors, as of today. The rate will be reduced by 1 percentage point per year to 4% as of January 1, 2021. The GMREB recommends that brokers and agencies verify the tax impact that this measure may have on their organization with their financial adviser. 

However, while these measures do represent additional financial assistance and are well received, the GMREB believes that they will have only a modest impact on improving homeownership. 

Finally, although the federal government, as well as provincial and local governments in some Canadian cities have introduced measures to balance the real estate market, including to limit the impact of real estate investments by Canadian non-resident buyers, the analysis carried out by Québec’s Department of Finance concludes that the real estate market in Québec is balanced. The vast majority of real estate transactions are concluded by residents of the province and the presence of foreign buyers remains limited. The moderate increase in housing prices reflects the good economic situation of Québec households.

For detailed information about the Québec budget, click here.