The Montreal Market Closes the Year with a Limited Price Decrease Despite a Sharp Decrease in Sales
The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) has just released its residential real estate market statistics for the month of December 2022. The most recent market statistics for the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) are based on the real estate brokers’ Centris provincial database.
Residential sales in the Montreal CMA reached 2,232 units in December 2022. This was a significant decrease of 1,414 transactions or 39 percent compared to the same period last year. It should be noted that we have to go back to 2014 to see such a low level of sales in December.
“December is the month of the year when there are generally fewer listings and fewer purchases, so it is not surprising to see slower activity in the Montreal market. This phenomenon is particularly evident in the number of new listings (we have to go back to 2002 to see a similar level). This low level of inventory has nevertheless prevented prices from falling more sharply,” notes Charles Brant, Director of the QPAREB’s Market Analysis Department.
“Although December is generally not the month that best reflects actual market dynamics, there is a certain wait-and-see attitude. On the one hand, buyers are hoping that market conditions will improve in their favour. Sellers, on the other hand, are hoping for stabilization of the market. Active listings continue to rise significantly due to a build-up effect, which could help to vindicate buyers in the coming months,” he adds.
Overall, the annual downward trend in activity continued in all of the major sectors of the Montreal CMA, with transactional decreases ranging from -33 percent to -52 percent. The Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu major sector, with 47 transactions during the period, registered the largest decrease in sales, at 52 percent. The major sectors of Laval (200 sales), the Island of Montreal (836 sales) and the South Shore of Montreal (512 sales) were also below the CMA average (-39 percent), with decreases of -41, -40 and -40 percent, respectively. Finally, the major areas of the North Shore of Montreal and Vaudreuil-Soulanges followed, with 527 and 110 transactions, respectively, both registering decreases of -33 percent compared to the same period one year ago.
The slowdown in activity continued in all property categories, as sales of small-income properties in December reached a new low not recorded since 2000. Plex sales (221 sales) experienced the largest annual decline with a -51 percent drop. Condominium and single-family home sales also decreased, with 872 and 1,135 transactions, respectively, down -40 percent and -35 percent in December.
In line with what is usually observed in December of each year, the number of active listings in the Montreal CMA was down compared to November. Nevertheless, listings are sharply up compared to the month of December 2021. Indeed, with 14,533 active listings, the Montreal market has 6,632 more listings, or an 84 percent increase, than at the same time last year. This increase is well above the provincial average (56 percent). The increases are particularly pronounced on the outskirts of the Island of Montreal. However, it is necessary to keep these variations in perspective since, in absolute terms, the number of active listings is still well below the historical average of more than 21,000 listings.
On an annual basis, median prices in the Montreal CMA registered decreases ranging from -1 percent to -6 percent. With a median price of $690,000, plexes were the segment that registered the largest decrease, falling by 6 percent for an annual variation of $45,000. For their part, with decreases of -$15,000 and -$4,000, respectively, the median prices of single-family homes and condominiums remained more stable with decreases of -3 percent and -1 percent. The median prices were $510,000 and $357,000.
On a consecutive monthly basis, a slight decline in median prices, between -1 percent and -3 percent, is also observable between November and December of 2022 in all property categories. Small income properties still have the most significant monthly variation, with a change of -$25,000 for a -3 percent decline. On the single-family and condominium side, the decreases are more modest, with declines of -$10,000 (-2 percent) and -$5,000 (-1 percent).
The most significant decreases in median prices for single-family homes, compared to last year, were observed in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. On the other hand, Vaudreuil-Soulanges is the only primary sector to register a positive price variation.