I've taken on a number of new clients since the beginning of year, mostly young, first-time buyers who think they might be able to pick up a home at a bargain price because of the soft economy.
If I had a dollar for every client who has earnestly asked me whether prices are coming down, I'd be able to buy a round of coffee for all my faithful readers.
In fact, while Canada's other large cities are facing a steep drop in prices and an oversupply of listings, prices continue to hold steady in Montreal.
The just-out Teranet-National Bank composite house-price index shows that prices fell year-over-year in three of Canada's biggest centres, contributing to a 0.6-per-cent decline nationally. Prices were off in Calgary (-7.6 per cent), Vancouver (1.5 per cent) and Toronto (-0.6 per cent). Home prices rose by 5.4 per cent in Montreal. The survey looked at 2008 as a whole. The forecast is for Montreal prices to fall by 0.1 per cent in 2009. On a $250,000 home, that's a big $250 saving, about what you might expect to spend on your first trip to the hardware store as a homeowner. A nice bit of change, but hardly a deal maker or breaker in the great scheme of things.