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

Montreal sees 18 percent annual decline in first quarter sales

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.