Greater Montreal's VitalSigns 2007
Foundation of Greater Montreal's Website
Housing

The average price of houses is rising but remains relatively affordable. Condominium ownership is particularly convenient for women and singles. Although fewer than 10% of rental units fall into the category of social or affordable housing, nearly one third of renting households could benefit from such housing.

  • The average price of houses in Greater Montreal in 2005 was equal to 3.48 years of the median family income. The ratio had increased by 43% over the previous 5 years and exceeded the Quebec average by 7%, but it remained 15% lower than the Canadian average. 1
  • While the stock of condominium units is expanding in the region, it is still modest, accounting for only 6.6% of all housing units. Even in the central districts, where 37% of all condominium properties are concentrated, their proportion relative to all housing units remains in single digits (8%). 2

    Condominium Units as a Proportion of All Housing Units Seven CMA districts, real estate assessment rolls for 2003
    source : Société d’habitation du Québec 2

    Distribution of Condominium Units By CMA district, 2004 survey
    source : Société d’habitation du Québec 2

  • Contrary to a widespread perception, most condominium units are fair in size: 86% have at least 2 bedrooms and more than one quarter (26.5%) have between 3 and 5 bedrooms. Lofts account for only 0.7% of the total. Overall, 8.8% of condominium units are rented out, compared with 19.4% in the Toronto area. 2
  • A substantial proportion of condominium-owning households is made up of single people (28% of all women living alone, 12% of all single men), people aged 65 years and over (26%) and retired people (34%). Households with children account for nearly one quarter of all those who own a condominium (two-parent households: 16.4%; single-parent households: 7.5%). One third of all units are occupied by a female head of household (women living alone: 28%; women heading a single-parent family: 6%), a much higher proportion than for men (men living alone: 12%; men heading a single-parent family: 1.5%). While 16% of condominium-owning households report incomes above $100,000, 45% earn less than $50,000. 2
  • Cooperative housing units represent about 19% of social and community housing in Quebec, with low-rent housing accounting for 50% and non-profit housing, for 31%. Cooperative housing represents just under 2% of units occupied by renting households in Quebec. 3
  • The total number of households receiving government housing assistance in 2005 was estimated at 4,571 on the island, corresponding to 38.5% of the 11,860 cooperative housing units. 3
  • Canada’s 2,186 non-profit housing cooperatives, home to approximately a quarter of a million people in 91,266 units, are found in every province and territory. Half of them (1,093) are in Quebec, where 24% (22,018) of all units are found. This contrasts with Ontario, with 25% (554) of all cooperatives and 48% (44,109) of all units. According to a 2003 study by the CMHC, a cooperative costs 14% less to operate than non-profit housing, whether private or public. 4
  • Across the territory of the Montreal Urban Community (MUC), 50% of housing units are rented. They are distributed as follows by location: Montreal, 74.7%; Longueuil, 8.6%; Laval, 6.4%; North Shore, 5.8%; South Shore, 4.6%. 5

  • Only 9.4% of all rental units in the MUC fall into the category of social or affordable housing. They are distributed unevenly across the region: 16 of the 82 municipalities in the MUC have no social housing at all. Overall, the island of Montreal has the largest proportion of social housing units (79.8%), followed by Longueuil (6.8%), Laval (5%), the North Shore (4.4%) and the South Shore (4%). 5 

  • Across the MUC territory, 31% of renting households face problems of affordable housing. They are slightly overrepresented in the city of Montreal (77.1%), where 74.7% of rental units are found. The proportions of all renting households facing affordable housing problems in other major districts of the MUC are as follows: Longueuil, 7.9%; Laval, 6%; the North Shore, 5.2%; and the South Shore, 3.8%. 5

1 Ratio of MLS Average Residential Prices and Median Census  Family Pre-Tax Income, 2000-2005, Centre for the Study of Living Standards
(consulted on August 21, 2007)
2 Marc H. Choko, Gilles Sénécal and NathalieVachon, La copropriété divise dans la région métropolitaine de Montréal et au Québec, Société d’habitation du Québec, September 2006
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
3 André Mercier, Les coopératives d’habitation au Québec (Édition 2005), Direction des coopératives, Développement économique, Innovation et Exportation, gouvernement du Québec, 2006
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
4 Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
5 Philippe Apparicio, Anne-Marie Séguin and Xavier Leloup, Analyse de la répartition spatiale de l’offre et de la demande de logements sociaux et abordables sur le territoire de la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, April 2007
(consulted on July 31, 2007)