Real estate market on the rebound

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Anthony Abbondanza
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Second quarter sales a sign market is recovering from late spring, provincial political uncertainty: Royal LePage

Despite strong sales in the months of June and July, Royal LePage is forecasting a yearly decline of 2.5 per cent for the Greater Montreal Area.

The housing market recovered from a poor start to 2014 with strong sales in the months of June and July, according to Royal LePage, which released its quarterly ‘House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast’ earlier this week.

In the second quarter report, the real estate agency projected the average house price in the Greater Montreal Area (GMA) willincrease 1.7 per cent by year’s end.

“It’s a better market from what we’ve seen in the first part of the year, which was slower than we anticipated,” said Dominic St-Pierre, director of Royal LePage for the Quebec region.

The stronger market forecast comes after a late spring and political uncertainty associated with the last provincial election.

The West Island has clearly benefitted from the Liberal’s win on April 7 election, as it experienced an increase in sales in the second quarter.

In Kirkland, 105 single family homes (detached bungalows and two-storey homes) were sold, an 11.7 per cent increase year over year.

Dollard des Ormeaux (DDO) experienced a smaller increase at 2.73 per cent with 188 homes sold compared to 183 in 2013.

Sales in Pointe Claire didn’t change in the second quarter, year over year, as Royal LePage reported 151 single family homes sold.

The condominium market remained flat as fewer sales were reported. Dollard des Ormeaux experienced a 4.3 per cent decline in sales, year over year, with 67 units sold.

The market we have right now is the kind of market we should expect going forward. It’s a lot more balanced Dominic St. Pierre, director of Royal LePage Quebec

Only nine condos in Kirkland have thus far been sold in the second quarter, five fewer than in 2013.

The housing market, said St. Pierre, is the victim of high inventory of single family homes and condos. In the GMA alone, Royal LePage estimated roughly 15,000 listings, as opposed to the average of 10,000 experienced in the last decade.

The high inventory, added St. Pierre, could have a short-term impact on the housing market.

“Because this is still a buyer's market and given the high number of houses available on the market, we are witnessing a downward pressure on property prices,” said St-Pierre.

The drop in prices could diminish the inventory and revitalize the market.

Houses in the West Island have experienced such a drop. In Dorval and Pierrefonds, the average price of the standard two-storey home fell by one and two percent, respectively.

However the average price for detached bungalows rose to nearly three percent in both Dorval and Pierrefonds. The average price in the GMA was 2.6 per cent.

“The market we have right now is the kind of market we should expect going forward. It’s a lot more balanced,” said St. Pierre.

@AAbbondanza1

Organizations: Royal LePage

Geographic location: Greater Montreal Area, West Island, Kirkland Quebec Pointe Claire Dorval Pierrefonds

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