Toronto has been getting a lot of bad press lately for the amount of condos that are present within the city. But, Toronto’s not the only one with a lot of condos – Montreal has even more and here, it’s a buyer’s market!
In March, the number of condos listed on the Montreal market skyrocketed by 25 per cent, giving them a total of 12,623 units that are up for sale right now. For anyone who’s counting, that’s more than twice as many Greater Toronto currently has available for offer. Those numbers are hard to argue with, and are what’s giving Montreal buyers a leg up – the first one they’ve had in 15 years.
Diane Menard, vice-president of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB) stated, “Market conditions for condominiums have been relaxing quickly in recent months. In early 2012, the condominium market still favoured sellers slightly, but after a short period in balanced territory the condominium market is now a buyer’s market, both on the island of Montreal and in the suburbs.”
And aside from just all the properties available, the prices on those properties are also falling, and will continue to do so. Many real estate agencies and analysts are predicting that prices, especially on these properties, will drop three to five per cent this year. While those prices are still 2 per cent higher than what was seen in March of last year, they’re also expected to drop by another 2.1 per cent, says senior economist, Marc Pinsonneault, with Teranet National Bank House Price Index.
But sellers still aren’t listening. And buyers won’t act until they do.
Those sellers are still trying to hang onto the last threads still visible from the sellers’ market that was seen last year. The problem is that those threads have largely been tied off by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, and sellers are simply going to have to be willing to come down on price, or stay in their home.
“Gone are the days of fishing,” says Montreal real estate broker, Carly Fridman, who’s referring to the practice of listing your home for an absurd price, just hoping that a desperate buyer will latch onto it.
“You can still make money by selling your house,” she says. “The housing market is not collapsing by any means. But you have to be competitively priced to sell. The sellers really have to start listening to the market.”
She also says that buyers are no longer worried that historically low interest rates are going to be pulled out from under them. They know those rates will be around for a little while longer, and so they know they can afford to wait for the right home – and the right price – to come along.
“Interest rates aren’t going up,” she says. “And if they do go up, they’re rising very slowly. Many buyers are still buying, but they’re not in a rush. They want the right price. They’re being picky because they can.”