How Many Hours An Average Montrealer Has To Work To Afford An Average Montreal Rent

Rent is up. And so is the number of work hours it takes to afford it, according to a report.

Senior Editor
How Many Hours An Average Montrealer Has To Work To Afford An Average Montreal Rent

In case working didn't make you sad enough, the February 2022 Rental Market Report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggests the ability to simply afford a Montreal rental apartment is requiring more work hours.

As of October 2021, a Montreal-area resident making the average wage had to work 105.8 hours a month in order to not spend more than 30% of their gross income on rent for an average two-bedroom apartment. That's almost three hours more than they had to work in October 2020 (102.9 hours). As a benchmark, CMHC notes that 150 hours a month (or 37.5 hours a week) is considered full-time.

The CMHC put the average rent for a two-bedroom "purpose-built" apartment (meaning the unit was constructed specifically to be a rental apartment) in the Montreal census metropolitan area (CMA), including Montreal Island, Laval and parts of the North and South Shores, at $932 in October 2021.

The corporation didn't specify the average hourly wage in the area. But if $932 represents 30% of the gross income for someone working 105.8 hours a month, they'd be making approximately $29.36 per hour.

The average Montreal purpose-built two-bedroom apartment rent was up 3.9% in October 2021 compared to October 2020, the report says. Overall average rent was up 3.7%. This was a lower jump than that between 2019 and 2020 (4.2%), but comparable to the increase between 2018 and 2019 (3.6%). Before then, the last time the CMHC noted a year-over-year average rent increase greater than 3.5% was in 2003 (4.7%).

The corporation also calculated what "affordable" rent (30% of monthly income) looked like for five household income brackets in the Montreal CMA as of October 2021.

For Montrealers making between $25,000 and $36,000 a year and dedicating 30% of their income to housing, for example, the corresponding affordable rents were between $625 and $899. According to the CMHC, there were 289,626 units with rent in that range in the CMA.

Montreal households making between $36,000 and $53,000 could afford rents somewhere between $900 and $1,324 (167,680 apartments). Those with incomes from $53,000 to $81,000 could pay in the range of $1,325 and $2,024 (57,738 units).

There were 78,874 apartments available with monthly rent less than $625. And, for people making $81,000 or more, 8,745 apartments with rent of $2,025 or more.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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