MONTREAL -- The Montreal real estate market is on a roll.
Residential sales rose eight per cent in September compared to the same month last year, with condominiums making up the bulk of the increase, according to the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board.
The 3,220 home sales represent a nine-year high for the month of September.
The median price of single-family homes hit $336,000, up seven per cent year over year. Duplexes and similar multi-unit dwellings jumped six per cent to $504,000, while condos climbed four per cent to $263,000.
Sales have been increasing for 43 months straight, said real estate board president Nathalie Begin.
Mortgage stress tests and higher interest rates imposed over the past year haven't dampened Montreal's real estate market, even as sales have slowed over the past year in Vancouver and Toronto.
Federal and provincial housing policies are working to cool the market in Vancouver, where year-over-year sales dropped from February through August.
Plans for a speculation tax aimed mainly at out-of-province buyers have worked to dissuade home flippers, said Paul Cardinal, manager of market analysis at the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board.
"There is also the fear for many buyers that the prices are maybe too high. This is a preoccupation that we don't have in Montreal."
Strong migration, consumer confidence, economic growth and public infrastructure projects as well as low unemployment are fuelling the Montreal surge, he said.
"It's a seller's market."
Rising interest rates could dull the spike, "but then again, it maybe has a counterintuitive effect," he said.
"There are some other people who decided that it was the time -- now or never -- to buy a property, because now the interest rates are going up and prices are still going up, so if you wait six months or one year from now maybe you'll pay more."