Montreal Housing Market Relishes Its “Fairy Tale” Status

The Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards says Montreal area is on the track for a 6 per cent increase in demands this year, which is the biggest jump since 2010. This happens while the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets show signs of cooling.

“We aren’t crazy as Vancouver and Toronto as far as price increases”, said Eric Goodman, agency executive at Century 21 Vision in Montreal. “But activity is pretty good”.

As foreign buyer’s taxes in Toronto and Vancouver restrain demand and potentially send purchasers away in quest for cheaper place to invest, Montreal becomes the attraction and is now spotted globally as the next booming housing market.

Cynthia Holmes, a professor of real estate management at Ryerson University in Toronto said in an interview that she wouldn’t be surprised if Montreal becomes the new target for foreign capital investing in residential real estate. She added: “Montreal is the Goldilocks of the Canadian housing market” with Toronto and Vancouver too hot and Calgary too cold.

According to David L’Heureux, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. principal of market analysis for the Montreal region, the city has attracted a bit more Asian investment since a 15 per cent tax was implemented on foreign buyers in Vancouver in August. He added he doesn’t think it has significant impact on demand at the moment.

According to CMHC, the Ottawa-based housing agency, non-Canadian purchasers in Montreal made up about 1.3 per cent of the market last year, up from 0.7 per cent in 2013. L’Heureux said in an interview: “we expect the number to remain close to 1.5 per cent in the short term.

Montreal remains a closeout deal with average prices about one-third the levels in Toronto and Vancouver even though the median price of a single-family home in Montreal is seen climbing to $312500, faster than last year’s 2 per cent gain and the 1 per cent increase predicted earlier.

Paul Cardinal, the Quebec real estate board market analysis manager said in an interview: “while the effect of the Toronto and Vancouver taxes remains to be seen in Montreal, a 6 per cent rise in home prices is not problematic for now”. He said “it’s still cheap to buy a house in Montreal compared to other major markets in Canada, but activity has been higher than we thought it would be this year”. It’s too soon to predict if the mainly French-speaking city may be on the verge of tis own housing boom.


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