Photo: Marc-Olivier Jodoin/Unsplash

Now you see it, now you don’t. That’s the story of Montreal home listings these days as sales are continuing at a breakneck speed.

Homes are being sold in Quebec’s biggest city nearly as fast as the rate at which new properties are coming on the market.

For every 100 new listings that appeared in June, 97 homes were sold.

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That translates to a sales-to-new listings ratio of 97 percent, the highest of any Canadian city, according to analysis from real estate company Zoocasa.

That plants Montreal deeply in seller’s market territory. More than 60 home sales per 100 listings (that’s a sales-to-new listings ratio of 60 percent) is generally considered a seller’s market.

Ratios between 40 and 60 percent are considered a sign of balance, while ratios south of that range favour buyers.

“The last time market conditions were this tight was back in June 2005,” says Nathalie Begin, president of the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers in a monthly report.

“These conditions can be explained by sustained sales levels coupled with the 45th consecutive monthly drop in the number of active listings,” she continues.

Active listings (the number of listings as of the last day of a month) plunged 19 percent to 17,980 at the end of June.

“This has also led to a general acceleration in price growth, particularly in the areas on the periphery of the Island of Montreal,” Begin adds.

Prices were up for all three main housing types in the Metro Montreal market.

The median single-family home price was up 8 percent annually to $352,250, while condo prices climbed 2 percent to a median of $261,000.

The median price for plexes, which contain two or more dwellings, increased 6 percent, reaching a median price of $539,000.

In a separate report, the Quebec broker association notes that a historically low provincial unemployment rate of 5 percent and rising disposable income levels are supporting housing activity.

The association is predicting that 2019 will be a record-breaking year for both home sales and prices in Montreal.

“With an increase in the number of households, a situation of full employment and mortgage interest rates set indefinitely at historically low levels, the main factors that stimulate the residential resale market are aligned in an exceptional way,” the board says.

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