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Montreal home resales top $1 billion

Montreal home resales top $1 billion

MONTREAL - Montreal home resales topped $1 billion in volume for the first time during a month of November, as median prices for all housing categories climbed four per cent, the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board said Wednesday.

Sales of existing homes in the Greater Montreal Area rose three per cent in November, compared with the same month in 2010, for the sixth consecutive hike this year, the board said.

“The market has been particularly active since the early summer, which benefits both buyers and sellers,” said Diane Ménard, vice-president of the real estate board’s board of directors.

In November, sales rose in most of the Montreal region. But on the South Shore, transaction levels were flat as listings rose 21 per cent compared with the same month in 2010, fuelling further questions about the impact of the planned Champlain Bridge reconstruction and Mercier Bridge renovations on property values.

In its housing outlook published this week, the real estate organization RE/MAX identified the rebuilding of several bridges as the “greatest issue ahead for Montreal.

“The reconstruction of the Champlain Bridge, in particular, is expected to impact the local economy, housing demand, as well as purchasing patterns,” the report said. “In anticipation of a serious disruption, buyers have already started re-evaluating.”

For the last 12 months ending Nov. 30, sales of South Shore homes in bridge-dependent municipalities like Brossard, Candiac, La Prairie and St. Lambert dropped 17 per cent, year over year.

And homes are selling slightly faster in these towns than in the Greater Montreal Area as a whole, board statistics show.

“It’s a bit contradictory but this is the reality,” said Paul Cardinal, director and market analyst for the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board.

In other municipalities like Delson, St. Constant and Ste. Catherine located southwest of Montreal, sales plummeted 15 per cent, even as prices grew only by one per cent.

On Montreal Island, condominiums were the most sought after property-type, as sales grew seven per cent, year over year.

In the Greater Montreal Area, median prices for single family homes rose to $270,000, with condos rising year over year to $226,750 and plexes rising to $400,000.