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Fewer people were buying homes in Montreal last month, according to data from the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB).

There were 3,947 residential sales in the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in March, down 28% year-over-year. Although this marked a new low for sales during March, it was also the first month since September 2022 where the year-over-year sales decline was under 30%.

The decline in sales occurred in each of the three categories of residential properties tracked for this data: Small income properties had 302 sales (-42%), single-family homes posted 2,083 transactions (-21%) and 1,559 condominiums were sold (-33%). This occurred despite a 62% year-over-year increase in listings.

Few sales were mirrored by lower median prices: $711,000 for plexes (-8%), $535,000 for single-family homes (-5%) and $381,500 for condominiums (-5%). However, prices were up slightly from the previous month.

“Following a period of unprecedented overheating, the Montreal CMA market was one of the first to react negatively to the rapid rise in interest rates that began a year ago,” said QPAREB Market Analysis Director Charles Brant. “Currently, it is one of the first to react positively to the stabilization of interest rates, as is the case for several other major Canadian markets. Although the economic uncertainties are far from over, households, like investors, are increasingly confident and inclined to carry out their intention to purchase a home in a context of stabilized financing conditions.”

Brant added that while “sales are still down, the slowing of this decline is a positive sign that the market is stabilizing. Another positive factor, the probability of a significant price correction is lower than a few months ago. This is particularly the case for fairly priced ‘turnkey’ properties for sale, which are still few on the market. It should also be noted that market conditions are still favorable to sellers despite transactional activity which has slowed considerably.”

Photo by Kristina Servant / Flickr Creative Commons