Montreal posts best sales increase of 2011 in October

MLS sales in the metropolitan area increased 7% in October 2011 compared to October 2010, said the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB) – the largest increase in existing homes sales yet in 2011.

A continuing trend has been an increase in condominium sales, which grew by 13% compared to a year earlier. Single -amily homes increased 5%, while plexes (2 to 5 dwellings) rose 6%. Overall active listings were up 15%, and new listings were up 8% from last year.

Montreal buyers have been increasingly favouring condos, leading to more building in that sector. But prices are still rising – the median condo price was up 5% from a year earlier to reach $228,900. Plexes were up 8% to reach $410,000, while single-family homes rose 3% to reach a median of $268,000.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates have trended down since the summer to near record lows.

“It’s a good time to buy a property,” said Diane Menard, vice president of the GMREB Board of Directors. “Mortgage rates are still low and the inventory of properties available on the market is increasing, which gives buyers more choice.”

That increasing inventory has industry experts also predicting a levelling in prices, especially in condos by next year.

But for now, the indicators show no signs of a slowdown in activity or price gains.

Broken down by location, Montreal Island continues to be the primary location for condos, with 623 condo sales in October compared to 416 single family and 248 plex sales. And while single family home prices have increased 2% from last year to reach a median of $358,000, condo prices are up 8% to reach $270,000.

In Laval, however, sales activity has levelled for condos, down 3% from last year to reach 70 in October. Condo prices are also down 2% to reach a median of $18,500.

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