Paul Cardinal, manager of market analysis at the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB), said the numbers have rebounded over the last three years due in part to Montrealers adjusting to new mortgage rules and low interest rates.
“Buyers are starting to come back to the market and with interest rates at record lows, first-time homebuyers and investors are trying to capitalize on the market,” Cardinal said in an interview with REP.
Montreal experienced its best December in three years for residential sales, according to the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB), a sign that Realtors have been able to take advantage of a renewed sense of confidence in the housing market.
With the election earlier this year, Cardinal added, there were modest declines in sales because of uncertainty. What’s more, there is also more faith in the job market although the stats don’t report massive increases month-over-month, he said.
GMREB reported a nine per cent increase compared to numbers reported last year with 2,203 sales concluded in December.
"Not only was December the best month of 2014 in terms of sales growth, it was also the largest monthly increase in sales in the Montréal area in thirty-one months, meaning since May 2012," Diane Ménard, vice president of the GMREB Board of Directors, said.
Among increases in multiple neighbourhoods, the northern suburbs registered some of the greatest sales hikes, as Laval jumped 26 per cent while sales on the North Shore were charted at 19 per cent compared to December of last year.
The South Shore and the Island of Montreal also registered an eight and four per cent increase, respectively, according to Centris database figures.
Vaudredil-Soulanges was the only area to report a decrease in sales -- down nine per cent compared to December 2013.
Meanwhile, single-family homes and condos sold well in December as figures show a nine per cent increase while plex sales grew 10 per cent.
The median price for single family homes remained steady at $284,000 while condos levelled out at $235,000. Apartment plexes rose by eight per cent at $444,375 compared to December of last year.
GMREB also said that there were eight per cent more properties for sale this year compared to last.
Consumer confidence in the housing market, the end of the election, and solid jobs growth has helped Montreal experience its best December for residential sales in three years.