According to January 2019 CREA statistics, Montreal is poised to overtake Vancouver’s place as the country’s second largest housing market.
TL;DR: Montreal’s sales activity and appreciation rates are higher than in Toronto and Vancouver, while prices are still much more affordable.
The total dollar value of real estate transactions in Vancouver dropped to $1.7 billion in January, which is 42% down from the same time a year earlier. Toronto recorded Canada’s largest number of real estate transactions in January, reaching $5.4 billion to start the year, albeit greatly reduced from the $8.5 billion in activity seen at the beginning on of 2017.
In Montreal, the total real estate dollar value increased to $1.63 billion, up 18% from last January.
Sales were up 7.1% since December, the fastest increase since May 2009 and reaching a record number of units sold. Montreal’s gains are well ahead of Vancouver and Toronto, where sales were up 1.2%, and double the national increase of 3.6%.
Montreal’s real estate boom is currently characterized by much cheaper homes, but many more transactions.
Economic and Legislative Conditions
Home sales in Montreal rose the fastest in a decade as lower prices and a booming economy lured buyers from across the country.
Montreal was excluded from the boom which saw home prices in Toronto and Vancouver surge to unaffordable levels and prompted a rush of regulations to cool them down.
These measures included new taxes on foreign buyers which have not yet been implemented in Montreal.
Tougher mortgage lending rules and higher interest rates have further curbed sales activity in Vancouver and Toronto, when compared to Montreal.
Prices and Price Growth
There are also fewer signs of overheating in Montreal, given its affordable prices.
Montreal’s benchmark home price was $349,300 in January, up 6.3$ from a year earlier.
Vancouver’s benchmark price, in comparison, was $1.02 million, down 4.5%.
In Toronto median sale price for single detached homes was up 2.4%, to $845,000.
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