Buyers’ Market in Montreal? Maybe, But Condo Prices Aren’t Falling!

Buyers’ Market in Montreal? Maybe, But Condo Prices Aren’t Falling!Buyers’ Market in Montreal? Maybe, But Condo Prices Aren’t Falling!

Looking to buy an affordable condo in a trendy, upscale part of Canada, for a relative bargain?

Sure, markets have sagged in Vancouver and Toronto. But now, for the first time in 15 years, Montreal is technically a buyers’ market, according to one measure tracked by the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean prices are falling. Turns out “buyer’s market” is a bit of real-estate agent jargon. According to the real-estate group, there is now 11 months of condo inventory available in Montreal, Canada’s second largest city.

A buyers’ market is generally considered to be one that has more than 10 months of inventory—essentially a ratio of the average number of listing in the past 12 months, against the average number of sales.

“We used to have a sellers’ market here for many years, with condo sellers receiving multiple offers for units,” Paul Cardinal, manager of market analysis at the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards, told Canada Real Time.  “But it’s becoming quite rare for that to happen.”

Mr. Cardinal blames a glut of supply and overdevelopment in the city, coupled with a marked slowdown in condo sales due to last year’s mortgage rule changes.

Still, Mr. Cardinal said he doesn’t expect to see a housing crash any time soon. Condo sales are down 19% to 3,090 units in the first quarter, compared to the same period last year. But condo prices have remained flat so far this year at 220,000 Canadian dollars ($219,000), and should rise by 1% for the rest of the year, he said, despite the higher conditions.

“It’s not a catastrophe,” Mr. Cardinal said.

By David George-Cosh

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