The capital of Quebec is on the rise with a booming local economy and a property market full of promise. Here’s why you should get involved.
It’s often been called the Paris of North America. Here you’ll find a heady mix of European and American styles in a vibrant and growing city. The last few years have seen Montreal step back into centre stage with the fastest growing economy in Canada. Demand is growing but property prices remain relatively affordable so this is a city full of opportunity.
Over the past five years, the Montreal economy has emerged from the shadows. Growth has outstripped any other city in Canada. A real growth rate of 3.6% in 2019 showed it is beginning to challenge the economic powerhouses of Calgary and Toronto. Investors have noticed and are moving into the market.
The rapidly growing economy and population has contributed to an acceleration of the housing market over the past five years. The growth suggests the market has been bouncing back after years of under valuation. With the economy also growing, all the signs are that the market has some way to go before it hits its peak.
While population figures for the area are down in 2020, overall in Canada, despite lower international migration due to travel restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, international migration accounted for the vast majority, 90.3%, of the growth in metropolitan areas.
Indeed, the resurgence of Montreal has been one of Canada’s economic success stories. Going into the pandemic it was on the up and all the signs are that it will continue to grow as the economy recovers. Developing is accelerating and with tourism also on the up, the city is enjoying a diverse and vibrant market.
As a tourist destination, Montreal has lots to offer and with an eclectic mix of language and cultures Montreal offers a one-of-a-kind destination. It’s a place full of diversity in and contradictions. Walm balmy summers give way to freezing winters with deep snow, making it appealing to a wealth of visits all year round.
Indeed in summer 2019, Montreal saw a huge 5% increase in visitors numbers, with travellers from Mexico, Germany, France and the United States all playing a major role in boosting the tourism economy in the city
European cuisine comes combined with hearty all American food. Iconic local dishes include bagels, meat sandwiches and poutine. This enticing mix sums up what’s at the heart of the city’s popularity with tourists – the opportunity to enjoy a blend of the familiar and the exotic.
Inevitably the pandemic put a dampener on these numbers in 2020, but the underlying trends are good and the climate looks positive for a strong recovery post pandemic.
Our experts say
“Montreal really is a fascinating city with a feel that you don’t find elsewhere. This vibrant culture makes it a really attractive proposition to a wide range of tourists and tenants. Additionally the city has really put a lot of effort into attracting corporate investment over the past few years, which, in turn has bought a more affluent, younger population of potential tenants, looking for quality accommodation. There’s a great student demand too – with over 10% of the city’s student population coming from overseas.
Additionally, the growth in property prices over the past few years provides a real indication that it’s a city to watch, as while there has been growth entry levels are still incredibly favourable when compared with the rest of Canada. And for those choosing to invest from overseas, the CAD’s current softening provides and opportunity to secure great value for money.”
– Matthew Lavin, Director
How to get there
With a number of bridges and highways leading directly to the city centre it’s easy to access Montreal by car. Just 46 miles from the US Border, travel time from New York to Montreal is around 6hrs as it the journey to Toronto.
The Adirondack travels daily from New York City, through the lush wine country of the Hudson Valley, into Montreal. Regular trains run across Canada from Montréal Central Station.
Montréal–Trudeau International Airport is the locations main airport and sits around 12 miles from Downtown Montreal. Airlines servicing Trudeau airport offer year round non stop flights to give continents, namely Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America.
Port Montreal is a popular port for cruise ships which come from across the world. Montreal is a starting point for trips along the St Lawrence river as well as longer cruises around eastern Canada and New England.
With a semi-continental climate, Montreal enjoys warn summers, but very cold winters, with rainfall distributed fairly evenly over all seasons.
While in summer, there are moderate amount of cool and cloudy days, there can be periods with hot and humid weather, with lows around 20/22 °C (68/72 °F) and highs around 32/33 °C (90/91 °F), which typically only last a few days. Indeed even into September and October it’s not unusual to see temperatures exceeding 25°C.
Winter in Montreal runs from mid-November to mid-March and is very cold, in fact, the average temperature, about -10 °C (14 °F) in January. Snow normally covers the ground from late November to mid-March. In a year, more than two meters (6.5 feet) of snow fall; occasionally, a snowfall can be seen already in October, and in spring, still in early May.
A growing economy and thriving tourism, creates a healthy and diverse market. The city has weathered the COVID 19 pandemic relatively well and looks set for a successful recovery. Property prices are on the up and it looks likely to become a seller’s market for the foreseeable future. According to the Royal le Plage survey, property prices in Greater Montreal will rise by 6% over the course of 2021.
Property values reached record setting highs across 2020 with double digital increases on the asking prices of single family homes, condos and duplexes.
The median price of single-family homes on the island of Montreal increased 12 per cent over the previous January to $526,800 — a record. The price of condos and plexes increased even more spectacularly, climbing 18 and 17 per cent, respectively. The median price of a condo on the island is now $369,000, while the median two- to five-unit plex has now reached $647,000.
But there is still excellent opportunity for capital growth, as the prices come from a relatively low base. Compared to the rest of Canada, property in Montreal is relatively affordable. This, coupled with the prospect of a strong economic recovery, makes it a fertile environment for investors.
They are moving quickly into the city with a number of exciting developments. Whether you’re looking to capitalise from property growth or earn a rental income, there is a wealth of exciting opportunities to choose from. Additionally, Unlike Toronto and Vancouver, Montreal has not adopted a foreign buyers’ tax, making it a great prospect for those wishing to include Canadian property within their portfolio.
Demand for a range of property types is growing – heavily influenced by the demands of a knowledge worker population moving into the area. Montreal has the highest concentration of technology jobs in Canada, bringing an influx of tenants looking for high quality city apartments.
Additionally, there are eleven sixty colleges in the area with a student population of around 320,000- over 10% of whom are international students looking for a home in the city.
Despite restrictions throughout the Covid crisis, Montreal is still very much one of the main centres of immigration in Canada which again fuels demand.
The combination of affordable entry rates, strong rental demand and of course the opportunity to invest in a flourishing and diverse city makes Montreal a great prospect for any investor wishing to add to their existing portfolio.