Montreal rental market constrained in terms of supply, options

This is the latest in the long-running saga of rental scarcity in Canada’s largest markets

Montreal rental market constrained in terms of supply, options

With moving day having come and gone, Montreal’s overall rental vacancy rate is sitting at 1.9%, according to latest data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

This is markedly lower than the 2.8% last year, and is even more pronounced in apartments offering three bedrooms or more, with vacancy in the asset class hovering at just around 0.8%.

This constrained supply has proven to be a significant roadblock, especially since roughly 130 households still need places to move to as of July 1.

“People who don’t have a good income have no place to go because there’s just no affordable housing in Montreal right now,” Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU) spokesperson Véronique Laflamme told Global News.

Compounding the situation, some property owners are making their rent-out decisions based on family size, Laflamme noted.

“A lot of landlords don’t want to rent to people with kids.”

Rental supply is a long-running theme in Canada’s largest markets. An estimated 31,000 homes across Canada were used for Airbnb rental so frequently in 2018 that they became unavailable as part of long-term rental supply, according to new research by McGill University.

This volume is equivalent to approximately 1.5% of Canada’s purpose-built rental housing, and is large enough to accommodate everyone in North Vancouver, the researchers’ analysis stated.

Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver together hosted fully 40% of the aforementioned 31,000 homes, and accounted for nearly half of Canada’s average daily listings in 2018. During that year, the cities collectively had $710 million in Airbnb revenue, up by 27% annually.