New downtown condos selling like hotcakes; pushing prices up

Last year was a record year for new condo sales downtown, according to a report by real estate consultants Groupe Altus.

"Radioactive," said director of real estate development Vincent Shirley, describing new condo sales in 2017.

Their report for 2017 shows over 5500 new condos were sold on the island of Montreal, most of them - 3365 - sold downtown. The previous record was 2600 condos in 2012. 

The stars were aligned, said Shirley: good job numbers, a strong economy, high consumer confidence - all factors in the boost for the spending spree on new condos.

Shirley said the 2016 inventory of unsold units dried up so buyers are pouncing on new projects before the shovel even hits the ground

"The launch of new projects has the wind in its sails, a good momentum," said Shirley in an interview with CJAD 800 News.

That adds some pressure on prices, Shirley said - about a 10 - 20% increase. 

He said it's a market that now favours the seller and the developer in the downtown core while suburbs such as Laval and the North Shore are seeing more of a buyer's market - trends that Shirley added will continue this year until interest rates start going up.

Another trend: more foreign buyers snapping up property in downtown Montreal now that they face an added tax in Toronto and Vancouver.