Laval housing continues to soar

Remains homebuyers’ favourite destination

By Robert Frank

Laval residential property prices led the way again in August, notching an annual increase of 5.3 per cent—more than double the average 2.4 percent rise for homes in the Montreal metropolitan area.

The only region to come close to matching Laval’s white-hot real estate market was the South Shore, which posted a 4.9 percent increase over last year.

It’s a seller’s market in Laval, the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB) declared last week, reporting that prices jumped despite a massive increase of 51 per cent in the number of condominium listings available here, together with an overall easing in condominium market conditions throughout the Montreal metropolitan area.

In contrast, residents continue to flee Montreal, the perennial sick-man of the metropolitan area’s real estate markets, and the only one to show a drop in prices, falling 0.3 percent from last year.

“August 2013 was the first month when we could compare results between two periods that were affected by the tightening of mortgage insurance rules implemented in July 2012,” GMREB vice-chairwoman Diane Ménard said in a statement.

That was when federal regulators trimmed the maximum duration of a mortgage from 30 years to 25 years.

“That had a significant impact on the real estate market,” Ménard observed.

The government tightened up on its mortgage rules because of fears that the lowest interest rates in recorded history could be fueling a bubble in property prices.

Statistics Canada reported that Canadians’ mortgage borrowing—which rose $18 billion during the second quarter of 2013—now totals $1.1 trillion dollars.

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