|C I T Y D E T A I L S|
Montreal’s market continues to be hot, even after last year’s mortgage regulation changes, which were introduced to slow activity in Canada’s hotter real estate markets. By the end of the first two months in 2017, sales of $1-millon+ homes had increased in Montreal by 13% and the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping. Not surprising, property prices increased most on the Island of Montreal, which is why we were excited to see a suburban island neighbourhood make it to the top of our ranking this year.
While average prices in Pointe-Claire can be twice as much as homes in surrounding north or south shore communities, this gem may just be the answer for commuters who want to avoid bridge and tunnel commuting. As in previous years, our ranking found good, solid value in downtown neighbourhoods as well as in commuter communities on both the south and the north shore. For those in the market to buy, the key right now is to find a neighbourhood that can withstand a potential correction in this hot housing market.
Montreal at a glance…
|Average Neighbourhood Price||$386,454||$396,774|
|Average 1-year return||3.0%||5.1%|
|Average 3-year return||6.1%||9.3%|
|Average 5-year return||11.9%||15.5%|
|Realtor grade (out of 5)||★★★||★★★½|
Montreal’s top five neighbourhoods
1. Pointe-Claire (2 : Ouest de l’île sud)
This is simply the “heart of Montreal west,” explains Peter Rawski, realtor with Londono Group. While a suburb of Montreal, this neighbourhood is still on the island which makes it a popular community for commuters, particularly those with families who want a little outdoor space and a larger home to call their own. While most homes are two-storey, there are bungalows and other housing types, such as condos. One big attraction is the revitalization project that was approved last year for the village centre on Cartier Avenue. While the history of the three-century-old village will be maintained, the revitalization will update recreational and commercial facilities to meet the growing community needs.
2. Mont-Royal (12 : Centre)
Despite the high average home price Mont-Royal is still considered a jewel in Montreal’s downtown, says Rawlski. “Many come to this neighbourhood while going to university and then never leave.” That’s because this is a community that’s close to downtown, with easy access to students (to help you lease that mortgage helper). As for location, the large urban Parc du Mont-Royal is a big plus, and the homes are often quite large. If they are lucky, buyers might find a semi (also known as a side-by-side) for around half a million.
3. Brossard (39 : Brossard/Saint-Lambert)
Just across the Champlain bridge is the community of Brossard. Almost 80,000 people live in this community with a range of ethnic backgrounds. One reason for its popularity is the more accessible price point, due in large part to the overwhelming number of semi-detached houses in this community. Almost half (44%) of the housing stock is classified as a semi, while less than a third of the dwellings are made up of low-rise apartment buildings where units are sold much like condos.
Residents are well serviced here: Much of the south shore’s commercial and retail space is located in the Brossard community. “This neighbourhood is undervalued by many investors,” says Rawlski. “Yet, it has a number of housing options, including new development, and it’s only a 10- or 15-minute commute to downtown.”
4. Les Coteaux (35 : Soulanges sud)
Located on the North Shore, Les Coteaux is often considered by local Montrealers as not being part of the city. But as more and more families and buyers look for larger homes, this municipality just over the Mgr Langlois Bridge is looking more and more appealing. A somewhat dated but solid four-bedroom will cost less than a condo in the city centre. That’s appealing to families who want enough space for two cars, a backyard and a chance to get out of an urban setting.
5. Gore (33 : Saint-Jérôme)
A little further north from Les Coteaux, but still on the North Shore is Gore—the urban equivalent of Barrie, Ont. to Toronto, explains Rawlski. While the average price point for homes—which sits at less than $200,000 for a single-family detached home—is one draw to this community, so are the mountains. Gore sits at the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains and is only an hour’s drive to Mont-Tremblant, one of the biggest ski resorts in Quebec. For those who love the outdoor lifestyle and don’t mind a commute, Gore offers good deals in real estate.