Markets & Economy

Mortgage rules may put chill on Canada’s spring buying season

Montreal sees 18 percent annual decline in first quarter sales

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Home sales in the metro Montreal market fell 18 percent during the first quarter compared to a year ago, the latest evidence that new mortgage rules introduced by Canadian regulators last summer have cooled markets there. A database maintained by the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards showed its third consecutive quarterly decrease in sales in the Montreal area, the group said today. The number of properties for sale across Quebec was up 7 percent from a year ago, to 70,239 the 12th consecutive quarterly increase. "The increase in supply and the decrease in sales resulted in an easing of market conditions in most urban centers, which translated into smaller price increases and longer average selling times," said Paul Cardinal, manager of QFRED's market analysis department. At $225,000 (Canadian), the median price of single-family homes across Quebec was up just $1,000 from a year ago. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) recently reported that home sales acro...