Montreal home sales continue to climb in hot market

The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board says area home sales in April were up 10 per cent compared to a year ago, as it recorded the highest mark for the month in eight years.

Condominiums median price up 2% compared to last year, half of all units selling for more than $245,350

The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board says there were 5,432 home sales in April, up from 4,957 a year ago, based on the real estate brokers' Centris provincial database. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Montreal's condo market is the hottest it's been in nearly a decade, according to a real estate expert who predicts that 2018 will be a record-breaking year in the city.

Paul Cardinal, the manager of market analysis at the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards, said the Montreal condo market will "break all records this year in terms of numbers of transactions and in terms of price."

His prediction comes as the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board said on Friday that area home sales in April were up 10 per cent overall compared to a year ago, as it recorded the highest mark for the month in eight years.

The board says there were 5,432 home sales in April, up from 4,957 a year ago, based on the real estate brokers' Centris provincial database.

Condo sales particularly strong

Condominium sales climbed 17 per cent compared to a year ago, Cardinal said.

He told CBC News several factors have led to the booming real estate market in Montreal, including an increase in local jobs, strong consumer confidence and more people moving to the city.

Condo sales have been particularly strong, as more and more condo buildings are going up across the city to meet a demand for smaller-scale homes. 

He said young, first-time buyers are no longer the only ones in the market for a condo.

Increasingly, people over the age of 55 are looking for condos as they downsize from single-family homes, and professionals of all ages, with or without children, are also getting in on the action, he said.

"The demand is stronger in part because the size of households is getting a little smaller each and every year," Cardinal said. 

Prices go up, as number of listings decreases

Meanwhile, sales of single-family homes and plexes, which include two to five units, both gained six per cent. 

The median price of single-family homes across Greater Montreal was $317,000 last month, up four per cent year-over-year, while plexes reached $500,000, a three per cent increase.

As for condominiums, the median price was up two per cent compared to a year ago, with half of all units selling for more than $245,350.

The increase in sales came as the number of active listings fell 17 per cent to 25,466, compared to 30,735 a year ago. New listings fell two per cent to 6,584 compared with 6,728 in April 2017.

Francis Cortellino, an economist at the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, said even if demand is going up as supply goes down, housing prices in Montreal are increasing at a steadier pace than in other Canadian cities.

"If you look at the resale market for condos … we're far from the 15, 20 per cent, 25 per cent" seen in Toronto or Vancouver, he told CBC News.

With files from Derek Marinos and The Canadian Press