Quebec bucks the trend with strong first quarter sales
While home sales in Canada’s two largest markets continue to lag their year-ago levels, Quebec is gathering strength.
The province saw 23,667 sales in the first three months of 2019, a rise of 8% year-over-year; with the Montreal CMA gaining 6% to 13,028.
The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) says that 16,010 single-family homes (+7%), 5,866 condominiums (+12%) and 1,694 plexes (+1%) changed hands in Québec in the first quarter of the year.
"The demand for properties remains very strong, as we can see by the widespread increase in sales across the province," said Yanick Desnoyers, Manager of the QFREB's Market Analysis Department. "The solid performance of Québec's real estate market is all the more impressive because it comes at a time when markets in Canada's other provinces are declining.”
Trois-Rivières registered the largest increase in sales at 24%, followed by Saguenay at 17% and the Gatineau CMA at 16%.
Transactions in the Québec City, Montréal and Sherbrooke CMAs also held their ground with respective sales increases of 8%, 6% and 5%.
The median price of single-family homes rose by 3% to reach $255,000.
Montreal supply under pressure
In the Montreal CMA, sales were up despite tighter supply of homes for sale.
Active listings fell for a fifteenth consecutive quarter, with an average of 21,880 properties for sale on the Centris system in the Montreal CMA, a drop of 15% compared to the first quarter of last year.
"The sharp drop in supply, combined with the increase in sales, means that market conditions are increasingly advantageous for sellers," said Anouk Vidal, Co-President of the Board of Directors of the Quebec
Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers. "The market has become tighter, particularly on the Island of Montreal."
For the CMA as a whole, single-family homes ($325,000), condominiums ($249,900) and plexes ($515,000) all registered an increase in median price, rising by 5%, 2% and 5% respectively.