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Montreal, Quebec real estate sales, listings up by double digits

A "sold" sign in a new housing development in Lasalle, a borough of Montreal, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024. (Christinne Muschi, The Canadian Press) A "sold" sign in a new housing development in Lasalle, a borough of Montreal, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024. (Christinne Muschi, The Canadian Press)
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Real estate listings and sales are up by double digits both in the Greater Montreal Area and the province of Quebec, with experts expecting a hot market coming in the final quarter of 2024.

The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) reports that Montreal sales increased 20 per cent from the same quarter in 2023, and listings are up 16 per cent.

Sales across the province are up 17 per cent from 2023 with listings up 20 per cent, and the rebound was felt in all sectors except Trois-Rivières and Gatineau, said QPAREB market analysis director Charles Brant.

"These results, however, must be put into perspective: although the number of sales seems to indicate a recovery, which will have to be confirmed in the second quarter, it remains slightly below the historical average for this period of the year," he said.

Experts say prices could rise even more in 2024.

The Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Forecasts says the price of a home in Greater Montreal could increase by 8.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of this year.

"Given the ongoing housing shortage and the widespread expectation that the Bank of Canada is preparing to lower its overnight rate in 2024, we warned last December that pent-up demand would return to the market well before interest rates fell, and that's exactly what happened in the first quarter of the year," said Royal LePage vice-president Dominic St-Pierre. "Calculating that rates could start to come back down around June, buyers rushed back into the market in a race against the clock, hoping to sign their deeds of sale just as financing costs started to come down. The problem is that, with inventory still well below the needs of the growing population, other candidates have had the same idea, which has had the effect of pushing prices up significantly in the space of just one quarter."

St-Pierre adds the window may close fast for those hoping to take advantage of the market slowdown and lower financing costs.

He says he also expects the rental market to heat up in 2024.

Plex sales surging

The biggest jump was in plex sales (up 28 per cent in Montreal, 25 per cent in Quebec) with median prices increasing six per cent in Montreal (to $740,000) and 15 per cent in the province (to $520,000).

Quebec saw increases in single-family home and condominium sales (both up 16 per cent) with prices jumping 10 per cent ($439,000 for a single-family home) and five per cent ($365,000 for a condo).

In Montreal, the average single-family home costs $553,250 (up five per cent) and a condo will generally cost around $395,000 (up four per cent)

With the consumer price index trending down and interest rate cuts a possibility, Brant says it has given the real estate market a tailwind.

"This context has inevitably led to many homebuyers deciding to take action in anticipation of a potential overheating," he said. "With a double-digit growth in the number of properties listed for sale in many markets, activity is trending toward recovery."

The association said Quebec sales in 2024 are around the average number since market data started being compiled in 2000. 

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