Known as the city of a hundred steeples, Montreal is renowned for its churches, including the Notre-Dame Basilica. Montreal is a cultural and business hub with a growing reputation for skills and expertise in the technology, video games and artificial intelligence sectors.

Montreal is the most affordable of the big Canadian cities featured in this report, with an average property price of $260,084 ($USD). Yet it still has the lowest rate of home ownership at 56%, in comparison to 66% in Toronto and 64% in Vancouver.

The rental market is also very affordable, with an average rent of $599 ($USD) per month in October 2018. Demand is currently outstripping supply, according to the 2018 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) Rental Market Survey. The vacancy rate in the city decreased sharply from 2.8% in 2017 to 1.9% in 2018 and was attributed to an increase in net international migration, plus an influx of foreign students and temporary workers.

The decline in availability of properties to rent led to rental growth accelerating to 3.9% year on year in October 2018, up from an average of 2.4% over the past decade.

House price growth also strengthened to 5.9%, in contrast to Vancouver and Toronto, where growth is cooling. Sales are high in the city with 44,448 property transactions made last year, an 11% increase on the annual average over the last decade.

Growth has been driven by increased demand caused by healthy employment growth, major public infrastructure projects and purchases by overseas investors. Work is now underway to complete the Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) rapid transit system, an automated service that will link several suburbs with Downtown Montreal via the city’s Central Station. 

A master plan for Montreal’s Old Port has already seen the opening of a new cruise ship terminal and will include a large observation tower, providing visitors with panoramic views of the city.

What you can buy in Montreal: Humaniti

Humaniti is Montreal’s first ‘smart vertically integrated’ tower consisting of 160 condominiums on the top floors (26th to 39th) and 314 rental units on the lower floors. There is also 64,000 sq ft of contiguous office space across five storeys as well as ground floor retail and an 11-storey hotel. The development is centrally located in downtown Montreal and the numerous universities, including McGill university, are within a 10-minute walk from St Lawrence River and the Old Port of Montreal.

Address: 1030 De Bleury Street
Status: Under construction, completion in 2020
Number of units: 314 rental units and 160 condominiums
Average price: $645 psf
Developers: Cogir Group, DevMcGill and Fonds immobilier de solidarite FTQ
Architect: Lemay + CHA

Focused on sustainability, the project is seeking to obtain LEED and WELL certifications. The building will have a green roof, shared car services and electric car charging stations. 

Residents will have access to hotel style amenities such as a spa, outdoor pools, business centre and a gym. The Clefs d’Or concierge services will offer meal delivery, housekeeping, valet parking and more. All services are integrated within an all-encompassing mobile app for the development.