Laval real estate sales buck plunge elsewhere

Home prices increasing much faster than rest of Montreal region

By Robert Frank

Despite the saying ‘a rising tide floats all boats’, February residential real estate sales figures for Laval and North Shore markets showed a relatively modest easing, compared to a sharp drop in sales elsewhere in the Montreal region.

Greater Montreal Real Estate Board numbers, released March 11, reported that Laval and the North Shore saw residential sales decline 14 per cent and 12 per cent respectively, compared to February last year.

In contrast Vaudreuil-Soulanges—the worst-hit major real estate market in the Montreal metropolitan region—saw residential sales plummet 42 percent during the same period.

Prices nonetheless rose, with Laval home prices outperforming—by far—all of the other regions, posting an increase of four percent. North Shore monthly price increases trailed 2.9 percent higher than in February 2012—though that figure was still ahead of the South Shore (1.9 per cent), Vaudreuil-Soulanges (2.1 per cent) and Montreal Island (2.7 per cent).

The strong figures so far support Mayor Alexandre Duplessis campaign, last month, urging people to buy homes in Laval as “a good investment.”

The overall slowdown in sales is a product of new rules the federal government implemented late last year to cool down a real estate market that had become overheated by the lowest interest rates in history.

In addition, prospective homebuyers increasingly have a surfeit of choice, as more properties come on to the market.

“Across the Montreal metropolitan region, active listings increased by 10 per cent as compared with February 2012,” Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards market analysis manager said in a statement. “The increase in active listings was especially strong on Montreal Island.”

“In total, more than 31,000 residential properties were available to buyers last February in the Montreal area.”

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