MLS® Barometer – Residential Market

Fewer Buyers and More Sellers

There were 7,175 residential sales transactions concluded through a real estate broker in the Montréal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in the third quarter of 2012. This represents a 7 per cent decrease compared to the 7,755 sales concluded in the third quarter of 2011 and the first decrease in sales after four quarterly increases.

Tighter Mortgage Rules a Likely Culprit

Monthly data shows that sales began to cool in the Montréal area in the months of August (-7 per cent) and September (-17 per cent), while sales in July were higher than those of the previous year (+2 per cent). The drop in sales in August and September corresponds with the implementation of the federal government’s new, more restrictive rules governing mortgage loan insurance1. First-time buyers were most likely to be affected by these measures which came into effect on July 9.

Widespread Decrease in Sales

Sales decreased for all three property categories in the Montréal area in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the third quarter of 2011. Sales of single-family homes (4,167 transactions) registered the smallest decrease at 6 per cent, while condominium sales fell by 9 per cent (2,290 transactions). The 711 plex transactions concluded in the third quarter of 2012 represent a 13 per cent decrease in sales and the worst third quarter result since 2000.

Prices Continue to Increase

Despite the widespread drop in sales, property prices continued to climb in the Montréal CMA, but at a slower pace for condominiums which posted the most modest price increase since the fourth quarter of 2008. The median price of condominiums grew by 2 per cent to reach $230,000, that of single-family homes grew by 3 per cent to reach $277,750 and that of plexes increased by 5 per cent to reach $425,000.

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