Housing market slowly on the rise

Anthony Abbondanza
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The real estate market in the West Island is alive and well, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey, released last week.

First quarter sales in Pierrefonds, Dollard des Ormeaux, and Kirkland posted 12.1-, 12.9-, and 2.4- per cent increases, respectively, year-over-year.

The fundamentals of the real estate market are strong, said Dominic St-Pierre, director of Royal Lepage for Quebec, adding “the economy is slowly recovering.”

Beaconsfield, however, had a slower start, reporting a 14 per cent decrease of sales compared to the first quarter of 2013. According to St-Pierre, Beaconsfield saw its house transactions decline to 50 from last year’s total of 63.

“It seems like a lot but it really is easy to recover for the next quarter,” said St-Pierre.

Working in Beaconsfield’s favour, as well as other West island municipalities is the absence of uncertainty. With the provincial election and a “tough winter” behind Montrealers, St-Pierre is expecting the market to pick up for the remainder of the year.

First quarter sales for Pointe Claire, Dorval, Baie D’Urfé, and Ste. Anne de Bellevue were unavailable.

Under the detached bungalow category, Pierrefonds fared well, posting an average price of $298,700, compared to $289,450 in the first quarter of last year.

Beaconsfield’s detached bungalows posted a 1.7 per cent decline in average price ($324,400). The Canadian average is $380,765.

“Bungalows are starting to be less popular on the island. What we’ve seen in the last few years is when you live in a high density market like Montreal, you want to make sure the space is used at its maximum,” said St-Pierre.

As a result, more people are opting for two-storey homes, St-Pierre added.

Dorval posted a 3.9 per cent increase in the average price of standard two-storey homes. Up from the first quarter of 2013, the average price for a standard two-storey home is $338,750. Still, the numbers pale in comparison to those of South Shore cities like Longueuil (367,000), Brossard (403,250), and Boucherville (432,000).

Pierrefonds posted a meagre 0.9 per cent decline.

The average price of a two-storey home, nationally, is $428,943.

Still, “it’s a buyers’ market” said St-Pierre, especially with respect to condominiums.

With a higher-than-usual inventory, prices of condos remain “relatively flat,” year-over-year in the Greater Montreal Area (GMA).

Montreal condos declined an average of 0.1 per cent, reaching $239,561, much lower than the Canadian average of $252,174.

But with a low interest rate expected for the remainder of 2014 and the first half of 2015, St-Pierre concluded “consumer confidence will be pretty good,” which “bodes well for the future of the real estate market.”

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Organizations: Royal LePage House, Royal Lepage for Quebec

Geographic location: Pierrefonds, West Island, Montreal Pointe Claire Greater Montreal Area South Shore

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