Published: March 1, 2019 By: Greg Devine


As reported in  RHB Magazine (Rental Housing Business), Vancouver is in pace to lose its status as Canada’s second largest housing market to Montreal.

It is still Canada’s most expensive city for housing; however, a recent breakdown in sales has led the value of real estate dealings significantly lower.  That in turn leaves Montreal’s rising market to overtake the Pacific coast city’s.

In Vancouver the dollar value of real estate transactions in January fell to $1.7 billion (US $1.3 billion).  This is the weakest level since 2013. While in Montreal transactions reached $1.63 billion and increase of 18 per cent.

As Montreal is the business capital of this French-speaking Province of Quebec, and has the second largest population in Canada.  Montreal was left out of the boom that saw Toronto and Vancouver swell and therefore making these cities unaffordable leading to regulations put in place to slow it down.

These regulations include new regional taxes on foreign buyers in Toronto and Vancouver; these regulations are not in place in Montreal.  Higher interest rates and stricter rules for mortgage lending also have had an impact on the priciest markets.

January sales in Montreal rose a 7.1 per cent from December, the fastest pace since May 2008, and the number of units sold reached a record.

Marc Desormeaux, an Economist at Bank of Nova Scotia, said “Montreal remains relatively affordable” and “much of the recent price appreciation and sales increases that really reflects the strength of the economy”.

Montreal’s benchmark home price was $349,300 in January, up 6.3 per cent from a year before, but still far more affordable than Vancouver’s $1.02 million which is down 4.5 per cent.
Toronto still has by far the most real estate dealings reaching $5.4 billion to start the year, although still reduced from $8.5 billion seen in 2017.

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