Dear Montrealers, in this month’s column I would like to address the condominium market, a very popular issue these days with regards to real estate in our great city. Spring will be arriving soon, despite our cold weather and numerous snowfalls. For many, with the arrival of spring will be the temptation to act on our resolution made earlier in the year to find new homes. Open Houses will be busier, Offers will be made, and Deals will be concluded. During the next 4 months, 60% of the sales in the year will be completed, so this is the key period of the year.

The condo market has been the topic of many conversations I have had this month. Condos are properties of choice for many first time buyers and empty nesters looking to downsize. Children are most commonly the variable that will move people out then back into condos, when they are born we would like more room, and when they move out we have too much room. In the city there are more and more condos being built when the demand remains the same, this is why it is becoming increasingly difficult to find buyers for condos. However new or recent condos are often more appealing and sell quite well because of the low condo fees and move in condition. Many developers advertise in this very newspaper, please call me if you would like to visit some. I am currently working with an older condo in Westmount that has been completely renovated and has no condo fees.

On a side note, we also have investors seeking good properties to purchase and rent out as apartments. Not your primary buyer for condos, but definitely worth mentioning.

Now lets step back for a short moment to May of 2010, new mortgage regulations were established in order to buy a home making it significantly harder for first time homeowners to purchase properties. Even though interest rates are and have been low, you now need to be pre approved based on a 6.1% interest rate on your mortgage based on a five-year term. Making it much harder even for unconventional mortgages.

A conventional mortgage is when you have 20% down payment for a property. Let’s say that we are looking at a $300,000 condo in the city as a first time home buyer, most young couples don’t have the $60,000 to put as a down payment so we need to go forward with an unconventional mortgage (between 5 and 20 percent down). So for the same property we could have $15,000 cash and pay an additional insurance on our mortgage (CMHC).

I hope this information helps answer some of your questions about the condo market in Montreal. There are more to choose from than ever and they are harder to buy than three years ago. The conclusion to draw here is obvious.

Now lets look at Single Family Homes in Montreal, the good news about houses in our city is that value continues to grow. There has been some slowdown with the rate at which values have increased but this real estate market remains vibrant; for well-priced quality properties. At the moment the average price for homes in the city is slightly lower than last year, but I feel it will pick up shortly.

Since my publications began in the Montrealer, my predictions have been realized; the market is changing and leaning towards the buyer’s side of the table. This is a good time to purchase a home, with many beautiful houses to choose from, but this is also a good time to sell; there are still interested buyers willing to drive this market. If properly marketed, properties fresh to the scene are seeing plenty of activity. I know of a well priced home in move in condition witch brought full asking in less than 10 days with two offers on the table at the end of February.

Notre Dame de Grace

This month I would like to cover NDG in depth, a very important factor for residents of NDG is the development of the new MUHC’s Glen Campus scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014. The existing demographic will be augmented in the area as a result. In February we experienced a slight decrease in the number of homes sold compared to previous years, probably due to our mixture of snow, rain, and freezing weather. 14 properties sold this year in February with an average price just above $640,000 when the year up to date has an average of below 600K. Looking forward to a good month of March.

I would like to thank all my readers for the time taken to read my articles and I look forward to speaking with you in the near future. If any of you are thinking of buying or selling, please don’t hesitate to call 514.708.4056.

Related Posts