Montrealers usually brag about how inexpensive rent is in the city compared to other major cities and about how easy it is to find an apartment. They have good reason to do so: the city has historically had low rents and stable vaccancy rates. But that is starting to change.
City officials are now warning that Montrealers will probably face a serious housing crisis. This means that landlords will be more picky and rents will go up.
TL;DR Though the state of the housing market will not be evident until July 1, the day when most Montrealers move, many officials are warning that the city is entering a housing crisis.
There are many elements that point towards a probable housing crisis. The most talked about is the low housing vaccancy rate. The vaccancy rate has been decreasing for four years, reaching a record low of 1.7% in 2018, according to the Montreal Gazette.
A healthy housing market has a rental housing vaccancy rate of about 3%, according to Vice.
There are many factors to blame for this. Many fingers have been pointed at Airbnb, which may be responsible for the loss of up to 6,900 homes in the city.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) also cites the late access of youth to property and the arrival of immigrants, refugees and foreign students as causes for the low vaccancy rate.
A housing crisis would increase rents and allow landlords to be more discriminatory, choosing not to house students or roommates, for example.
The situation is not all doom and gloom, luckily. Some steps are being taken to ensure that families do not end up on the street on July 1.
The city of Montreal has an Inclusion of Affordable Housing in New Residential Projects Strategy in place to ensure that developers include social housing and affordable housing in their projects.
If you're currently looking for an apartment, be sure to check out value across the city. Apartment quality varies greatly by city borough.