According to a recent study from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the city of saints and festivals is also the city of renters.
CMHC’s latest Housing Market Insight report found almost half (45 percent) of households in the Greater Montreal area are occupied by tenants, not owners. And, interestingly enough, many of these renters (48 percent) live alone.
The report speaks volumes to the level of affordability in the Quebec census metropolitan area (CMA). Compared to other Canadian city centres, the cost of living in Montreal is relatively low, and about one-third of the renters in Montreal reportedly had incomes below $30,000, before taxes. A late-2018 CMHC rental market report found the average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment was $720, making housing costs fairly affordable for single tenants and those with lower incomes.
The report also revealed that lower-income households moved less often than other households. And when these lower-income households did move, they tended to stay within the area where they already lived.
“Finally, there did not seem to be a significant movement of less affluent renters to sectors of the CMA where the rents were less costly,” said Francis Cortellino, market insights economist at CMHC.
Renters were less prevalent (between 20 and 25 percent) in areas outside of Montreal, like Griffintown, Outremont and L’Île-des-Soeurs, where rental prices are generally higher. Still, housing costs across Quebec are comparatively lower than those in the Greater Toronto Area or Metro Vancouver, where the average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment sits around $1,270 and $1,394, respectively.