MONTREAL -- Greater Montreal homes sold more quickly in October as continued strong demand propelled average prices seven per cent higher, the area's real estate board said Monday.
"The single-family home and plex markets are becoming increasingly favourable to sellers, as selling times for these property categories are falling," said Mathieu Cousineau, president of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board.
Single family homes sold last month were on the market on average for 78 days, almost two weeks less than a year ago.
Buildings with two to five units sold three days quicker at 81 days. Condominiums took the longest to sell at 103 days, but that was 17 days fewer than in October 2016. That signals a balanced condo market, said Cousineau.
The number of homes sold in the month increased seven per cent to 3,270, led by a 13 per cent increase in condo sales and three per cent for single homes.
Last month was the most active October in eight years, the real estate board said.
The strong activity came ahead of the federal government's plans to tighten mortgage requirements.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions will implement new lending guidelines at the beginning of next year. Among the changes being considered is a requirement that homebuyers who do not require mortgage insurance still have to show they can make their payments if interest rates rise.
Paul Cardinal of the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards has attributed monthly housing gains this year to strong job creation, consumer confidence and foreign migration.
Sales on the island of Montreal, which accounted for 43 per cent of area transactions, grew 11 per cent.
Almost half the sales were for condos, which grew 14 per cent.
Canada's second-largest city and the region surrounding it remain a real estate bargain as the average price grew seven per cent to $367,512 from $347,281 a year ago. The average price on the Island of Montreal, which includes suburbs, rose 6.1 per cent to $462,516.
That compared to $780,104 in Greater Toronto, up 2.3 per cent from the prior year and $1.04 million in Greater Vancouver, up 12.4 per cent.