Photo: Marc-Olivier Jodoin/Unsplash

Home sales have been on a relentless upswing for several years in Montreal, which has risen to become one of Canada’s hottest housing markets.

In July, 3,698 homes changed hands in the Montreal area, an increase of 16 percent from a year ago, according to the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB).

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July was the 53rd straight month that home sales were up on a year-over-year basis.

“The sales growth that we’ve been witnessing since the start of the year reached a new peak in July with the largest increase in sales since May 2017,” says Nathalie Bégin, president of the QPAREB board of directors, in a statement.

“What’s remarkable is that the resale market continues to be so strong after 53 consecutive months of increases,” she continues.

QPAREB expects 2019 will be a record-breaking year for the Montreal market in terms of home sales.

Home prices have increased amid the flurry of sales activity and the market continues to tighten.

In July, the median price of a single-family home increased 6 percent to $357,000, while the median condo price climbed 5 percent to $278,600.

According to the Teranet–National Bank House Price Index, Montreal home prices are currently peaking, a status the city shares with three other Canadian housing markets: Halifax, Hamilton, and Ottawa–Gatineau.

The market’s meteoric rise comes with certain downside risks, and some have suggested the market may be too hot for its own good.

Earlier this year, one economist flagged Montreal for overheating, a view shared by Canada’s national housing agency. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation sees moderate evidence of overheating in Montreal.

Montreal’s active listings — that is, the number of homes available for sale at the end of a given month — declined for the 43rd consecutive month.

By July’s end, there were 16,898 homes available on the resale market in the Montreal census area, a decline of 20 percent compared to a year ago.

Such a pronounced decline in listings hasn’t occurred since March 2010, according to QPAREB.

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