The Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards says home sales in Montreal have reached their lowest level in ten years.
Housing sales saw an overall decrease of 5% in the Montreal metropolitain region during the last quarter, anywhere between 5% for single-family homes to as much as 10% for multi-plexes. Condo sales are also down, by 3%. The federation reports homes stayed on the market for a longer time, an average of 117 days before finding a buyer, compared to 101 days a year ago.
The federation blames high unemployment and the last provincial election which made many sellers and buyers skittish.
But now buyers can slowly find themselves with the upper hand, says Terry Kilakos, president and chartered mortgage broker with North East Mortgages.
"What we are seeing is people are more willing to negotiate on prices right now," said Kilakos.
"Buyers have a lot of selection. When you're looking at home prices, they're starting to be competitive."
Kilakos said sellers have to be patient and flexible because it's not like what it was two or three years ago.
"If you price the house right, and you do your homework properly, you'll be able to sell it. Unfortunately, the majority of people when they decide to list their house, they're still thinking that it's 2011, 2012 and they're able to turn it around in 30 to 60 days," said Kilakos.
"It's not the same market. If you list your house and you're overpricing it right now, it's going to take longer to sell because you're going to have to wait for that buyer that's going to pay that price."
Kilakos said despite the low demand and the high number of properties on the market, prices have remained steady.