The “Manhattanization” of Montreal and its impact on house prices and condos

The “Manhattanization” of Montreal and its impact on house prices and condos

july 2012

The dream of families of living in single dwellings within the immediate surroundings of downtown Montreal will be increasingly difficult. With a practically nil availability of single affordable housing and with prices skyrocketing for those that are available, accessibility is limited.

Indeed the pressure is already high for homes for sale in Montreal, which creates bidding wars on offers with promises to purchase with no conditions.

This reality requires families to have to consider the option of the condo if they are to remain in close proximity to downtown Montreal.

With the number of available houses on a steady decline in the immediate vicinity of downtown, the prices of single family homes and townhouses could rise by 25 to 50% in the next decade, while prices of condos are expected to increase moderately in the same sector given the increased supply.

It is the leader in sales and marketing of real estate projects in Montreal, Patrice Groleau McGill Real Estate Agency who has been talking about the “Manhattanization” of Montreal for several years now.

“People forget, but Montreal is an island! In New York, even if you make $1 million a year, you still cannot afford to buy a home in Manhattan, and your only choice is a condo! “.

“This is the same phenomenon”, he says, “that you see in other major world cities, like Hong Kong, Tokyo, London and Paris.”

“If you want to live in downtown Montreal, you’ll have to live in a condo. Families will be forced to go into a densification mode with condominiums, it is the natural evolution of a big city,” he explains.

Montreal condo, change in expectations

For families, the transition to life in a condo actually requires a change in mindset and a change in expectations when living in a smaller space vertically.

We must leave the bungalow with a white picket fence and pool idea behind.

This has been the reality of things for New Yorkers, Parisians, Londoners, etc..for a longtime now.

Montreal condo boom

It is impossible to buy a house in New York or Hong Kong. It’s so expensive, it is simply not an option, but in Montreal, we still have some affordable homes.

“We are less than ten years away from families not be able to afford houses in Montreal and have to start considering the condo as their sole option.”

Montreal Condo, living spaces will become a problem

The reason is that, generally, developers have to sell 60 to 80 percent of their condos before they can obtain financing and begin construction. To achieve these goals quickly and keep prices affordable, supply lies mostly on one-bedroom condos for single people and young couples who want to live in the heart of the action.

There is a demand for condos of three bedrooms in downtown Montreal but prices are higher and automatically available to a smaller market of buyers.

A possible overabundance of micro-condos in Montreal

Today’s trend can surely lead to an overabundance of “micro” condos and a housing crisis seems to be looming for families who may eventually wish to live in condos.

We should push developers to build more condos geared for families who require three or more bedrooms on the outskirts of downtown Montreal.

“I understand that developers are nervous about the idea of ??building living areas that take longer to sell,” he says, “but we cannot allow market forces to do city planning. We may regret this tomorrow!”

The city must provide benefits to developers by approving the additional height and density for their projects in exchange for condo projects that are more family-friendly, or allow them to build condos with shared walls that are not supporting so that they can combined them to make larger condos in the future.

When we started, buyers practically disregarded the idea of condos, they considered them as an inferior housing option.

Today, anyone who wants to live in downtown Montreal will need to learn to live in a condo.

With the condo boom from 2000 to 2012, builders have attracted young buyers and investors with very small condo designs and access to an action-packed lifestyle in the heart Downtown Montreal.

Five years ago, the studio condos without a closed bedroom were generally around 600 square feet. Today, they are more likely to be half that size at 300 square feet.

As the construction of single dwellings in Downtown Montreal is not feasible given the costs, we will see more and more luxury condos that look like small aerial homes.

The condo in Montreal is here to stay. We must, just like a house, decorate it according to our taste and our needs. In short, picture the condo with furniture and designs to fit a new reality which is the maximization of space and emphasis on functionality.



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