Laval housing prices holding up, despite fewer sales

By Robert Frank

Laval’s residential real estate prices continued to hold their own during the month of June, despite a surging inventory of dwellings on the market that means that sellers must now, on average, wait a lot longer before their home is sold.

The median price is up about one percent, compared to June last year, even though active listings are 16 percent higher than the same month in 2012, the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB) reported, July 12.

The picture is pretty much the same for the first half of the year, with prices up two percent, and the same 16 percent boost in listed properties, compared to the first six months of 2012.

Total sales have plummeted in the first half of 2013, with single-family dwellings down 17 percent and condominiums plunging 21 percent since January, compared with the first six months of 2012.

On its own, though, June saw a spell of relief for condominium sales, which dipped just one per cent, compared to June last year.

“[It’s] the smallest drop in sales since July 2012, when the most recent tightening of mortgage rules came into force, which limit the maximum amortization period to 25 years,” GMREB vice-chairwoman Diane Ménard observed in a statement.

“Several indicators, both for new construction and resale, suggest that market conditions for condominiums are stabilizing,” concluded Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards analyst Paul Cardinal. “The increase in median price in June, albeit modest, was the first in six months.”

Laval property prices continue to fare well compared to other regions in the vicinity of Montreal. GMREB’s price index reported an annual increase of 4.3 percent, only slightly behind the South Shore, which posted a 4.5 percent hike. In contrast, prices on the island of Montreal barely budged, up only 0.3 per cent, as residents continue to flee higher taxes in the 514 zone.

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