It's looking like now is a good time to start renting a new Montreal apartment if you've been searching for a while.
According to liv.rent's December 2021 Montreal Rent Report, the average cost to rent an unfurnished one-bedroom apartment in the city has dropped by $50 since November. It's now reportedly an average of $1,236 a month to rent an unfurnished 3 1/2 in Montreal.
As for furnished versions of this size apartment, the report states that the average rent price is $1,442 in December 2021, about the same decline from November as the unfurnished price.
Now, as for deciding where to live, Downtown Montreal is said to be the most expensive part of town to rent in this month, with an average price of $1,433 for an unfurnished one bedroom. But liv.rent claims this area still "saw significant declines in the prices of both furnished (-7.41%) and unfurnished (-11.57%) units" this month.
Meanwhile, you can find the same type of apartment in Côte-des-Neiges for $333 cheaper on average, and this is reportedly the neighbourhood with the lowest rent prices right now.
Also, if you've been looking for an apartment with some extra space, "three-bedroom units are only slightly more expensive than two-bedroom units" in neighbourhoods like Downtown, Plateau Mont-Royal and Saint-Laurent — so it could be worth the few extra dollars!
Here's a little breakdown of average furnished apartment prices in every Montreal neighbourhood, in case you don't have your own furniture just yet.
For some, the beginning of a new year also means the beginning of the search for a new apartment. To help you narrow down your search based on your budget, we've taken a look at liv.rent's January 2022 Montreal Rent Report to see which popular areas have the most affordable rents this month.
The report looks at the average Montreal rent prices in 11 neighbourhoods, average rates by listing type, and more. Unfortunately, it looks like the average rent in Montreal is the highest it's been in months, so it may not be the best time to switch apartments if you don't need to.
Here are the three key trends and data points that liv.rent believes Montrealers would be interested in:
Montreal's city-wide average rent for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit has soared to $1,300 this month.
Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is now the cheapest neighbourhood to rent an unfurnished one-bedroom apartment in Montreal, at an average of $1,071.
Plateau-Mont-Royal had the most significant rent increases for both furnished and unfurnished units, at +23.33% and +10.94% respectively.
According to liv.rent, the average price for a one-bedroom unfurnished unit in Montreal is $1,300 this month, whereas the average price for a furnished place the same size is $1,446.
Whether you're hoping to find a one-, two- or three-bedroom apartment in Montreal, the table below gives you a little idea of what price range you should be expecting to pay for an unfurnished place this month by neighbourhood.
Downtown has the highest average prices in the city for unfurnished apartments this month. Liv.rent's report shows that the cheapest of these 11 areas to get a one- or two-bedroom is in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. And for three-bedroom apartments, the most affordable spot is said to be Verdun this month.
And if you don't have your own furniture, it's going to be a little more pricey to rent a furnished apartment in all these areas, except apparently in Côte-des-Neiges.
For furnished apartments, one- and two-bedrooms are most expensive in Plateau-Mont-Royal, and the average rent for a three-bedroom spot is the highest in Westmount. Only four of the 11 popular Montreal neighbourhoods have an average furnished three-bedroom rent price that's less than $2,000, namely Saint Henri, Verdun, Ahuntsic-Cartierville, and Villeray-Parc-Extension.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Despite a housing crisis, a wage crisis and a pandemic, attempted renovictions of long-term, low-income renters across Quebec went up significantly for the second year in a row, data from a provincial coalition of housing organizations shows.
The Coalition of Housing Committees and Tenants Associations of Quebec (RCLALQ) evaluated 874 cases and found that 53% of attempts to evict or repossess people's homes came from landlords who had owned the building for less than one year.
"For a second consecutive year, the RCLALQ notes a significant increase in the number of tenants who visit a housing committee because their landlord is trying to evict them," the advocacy group wrote in a release.
In a statement sent to MTL Blog, RCLALQ spokesperson Maxime Roy-Allard called the increase in eviction attempts in 2021 "historic," estimating it was the highest number in the last two decades.
Roy-Allard has also noted that many of these landlords repossess these apartments to "optimize their investment by evicting tenants and then abusively increasing rents."
Even worse, the group said, the longer a tenant's been living in an apartment, the more likely it is they'll fall victim to a renoviction.
According to Roy-Allard, of the tenants targeted by renovictions this year, "50% had been occupying their home for at least 10 years and more than a third for 15 years. These tenant households paid an average of $767 per month in rent, which is much lower than the average rent of $844 in Quebec."
This worrying trend is no longer exclusive to Montreal. Some landlords in Quebec City, perhaps having taken notes from Montreal's predatory landlords, are following suit, attempting to renovict long-term and low-income tenants from their homes.
"In the Quebec City area, 90 tenants have called on the information services of the Bureau d'animation et information logement (BAIL) regarding a repossession of housing, an eviction or a renovation, which is five times more than two years ago," the RCLALQ noted.
BAIL community organizer Jonathan Carmichael said, "We are seeing more and more building owners, particularly in the working-class neighbourhoods of Quebec City, using malicious schemes to obtain the permanent departure of tenants who have often been in place for many years."
Solutions for preventing renovictions do exist, says the RCLALQ, but it's up to the government to put them into action. The group has called on the minister of housing to make changes to Quebec's Civil Code to prohibit repossessions "in all sectors where the vacancy rate is less than 3%."
The group also demands that "the compensation paid to tenants in the event of repossession should be considerably increased" to the equivalent of 12 months' rent in all cases.
It's no secret that it's become harder than ever to find housing and affordable rent in Montreal recently. Many have called the housing situation in Montreal a crisis — and with a municipal election this weekend, it's important to know how each party hopes to solve it.
Montrealers can vote for the next mayor on November 6 and 7.
Valérie Plante & Project Montréal
Throughout her tenure as mayor, Valérie Plante and her party have positioned themselves as champions for social and affordable housing in Montreal. Plante, alongside executive committee member Robert Beaudry, has unveiled ambitious plans such as the 20/20/20 bylaw for a diverse metropolis and historic investments in social and affordable housing.
In the official party platform, Plante has scaled up her target for social and affordable housing to build 60,000 units "as quickly as possible." In addition, the party is proposing several "fair taxation" mandates to discourage flipping and speculation.
If elected, the party says it will continue what it has already begun.
Balarama Holness & Mouvement Montréal
Balarama Holness has so far run a campaign based on the promise of change and progress, presenting himself as a viable third option in a tightly contested mayoral race.
When it comes to housing, Holness and his Mouvement Montréal party have attempted to distinguish themselves from the current administration by promising more social housing and stricter laws around real estate speculation.
Mouvement Montréal says it would build 24,000 social housing units, 30,000 affordable rental homes and 5,000 student housing units, for a total of 59,000 social and affordable housing projects. They would also establish a landlord certification and rental registry.
Holness' party says it would beef up Projet Montréal's 20/20/20 mandate with a "30/30/30" plan requiring all new residential developments with eight or more units to offer "30% social housing and 30% affordable housing, with affordable housing costing tenants a maximum of 30% of their total monthly income before taxes."
One of the major differences would be that a Mouvement Montréal administration would have harsher regulations on Airbnbs and would establish a foreign buyers tax to "discourage rental gouging."
Denis Coderre & Ensemble Montréal
Although Denis Coderre and Ensemble Montréal aren't necessarily known for their support of social and affordable housing, even they can't ignore that there's something of a problem in the city.
The party pledges 50,000 social and affordable homes within four years, in addition to 15,000 regular new housing units to be built on the city's forgotten land assets. Coderre also recently announced a plan that would ease the financial strain on first-time homeowners by giving them a 10% rebate if they qualify.
An Ensemble Montréal administration would also make it easier to get building permits for housing and explore ways to convert underutilized downtown office buildings into housing. In addition, the party would develop more real estate around metro and REM stations.
Unlike its opponents, Ensemble Montréal wouldn't institute a landlord certification; but like its opponents, it would create a centralized rent registry.
Specifically, Coderre and his party, Ensemble Montréal, say their administration would study the possibility of turning the surface above a stretch of sunken highway between chemins Queen Mary and Côte-Sainte-Catherine into a "new green urban park" with "outdoor sports facilities, family facilities and a relaxation area with a fountain."
🏗️ Le recouvrement de Ville-Marie mettra la table pour l’agrandissement du Palais des Congrès, qui permettra à Mont… https://t.co/E5o0nS5jba
"It's been 50 years since we've been talking about covering the Décarie Expressway and no one has yet taken the time to commission a detailed and ingenious feasibility study with a budget and a timetable for the project to become a reality," Ensemble Montréal candidate for CDN-NDG borough mayor, Lionel Perez, said in a statement.
The party says it would reduce the roads on either side of the highway to two lanes each.
Coderre also has a plan to cover part of the Ville-Marie Expressway downtown through the expansion of the Palais des congrès and the creation of a public square between rue Sanguinet and boulevard Saint-Laurent.
Ensemble Montréal says covering the Décarie would cost $700 million and covering the Ville-Marie Expressway would cost $400 million.