The Complete Guide to Real Estate in Montreal
Montreal is the largest city in Quebec and the second largest in Canada, after Toronto. It is located in the southern part of the province on an island in the St. Lawrence River. One of the city’s most notable trademarks is the centrally located Mount Royal, a 233-metre high mountain covered with trees, and a network of jogging paths. The best view of the entire city in all its diversity can be seen from the summit—from the qu
aint charm of Old Montreal to the office buildings of the financial district to the urban art installations of Place des Arts, and much more.
Montreal is renowned for its vibrancy and its diverse and eclectic nature. The city draws people across multiple generations, from students to families, to those enjoying retirement. Montreal’s official language is French. On
e of the biggest cities in Canada and the second largest primarily French-speaking city
on earth after Paris, the total population of Greater Montreal is made up of 65% Francophones, while Anglophones come second at 12.6%, and allophones account for 20.4%.
Montreal was founded
in 1642 as a missionary colony under the direction of Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance, but the fur trade soon became its main activity. Formerly called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary," Montreal acquired its present name from Mount Royal, the large hill in the heart of the city fondly known by locals as “the mountain.” Today, Montreal's old-time European energy and multiculturalism are part of what make it an incredible location for a new home.
Those who genuinely appreciate four distinct seasons would do well to look into the Montreal housing market. Summers are sunny, sometimes humid, and can get extremely hot. July temperatures reach a maximum daily average of 26 to 27 °C (79 to 81 °F), with temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) quite common, while winter deviates far in the opposite direction, bringing the sub-zero temperatures and an abundance of snow. Typical January temperatures range −9 to −10.5 °C (16 to 13 °F), although the wind chill can often make the temperature feel as low as −30 °C (−22 °F).
Culture and Recreation
Consistently rated one of the world's most livable cities, Montreal was dubbed "Canada's Cultural Capital" by Monocle Magazine and was also recently named a UNESCO City of Design. In 2010, Montreal was named a “hub city,” and ranked 34th globally out of 289 cities in the Innovation Cities Index for innovation across multiple sectors of the urban economy. It remains a key center of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, culture, tourism, film, and world affairs.
Montreal easily has one of the most dynamic cultural scenes on the continent and is home to countless festivals, including the famed International Jazz Festival, the World Film Festival, and the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. Also based in Montreal is the world-class Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and numerous opera, ballet, and theatre companies. Montreal additionally hosts the Canadian Grand Prix Formula One racing event every June. Sports lovers can take heart in the presence of major league teams like the Montreal Canadiens National Hockey League team, and the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes.
In the downtown area alone, Montreal boasts an incredible variety of museums like the renowned Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as well as art galleries, shopping centers, restaurants, and churches open to the public that welcome visitors to explore its multi-century long history. This is also the area where the city’s universities can all be found within a short distance.
Montréal is home to several of Canada's highest-ranking institutions, including McGill University (ranked 1st in Canada and 30th in the world) and the Université de Montréal (5th in Canada, and 126th in the world). Concordia University and Université de Québec a Montréal are also a huge draw for students from near and far.
Montreal is divided into 19 boroughs, each of them further divided into several neighbourhoods. The boroughs of Mount Royal, Ville Marie, Outremont, and Cotes-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace can be found in the city’s central area, which includes downtown, Chinatown, and Old Montreal, where residents and visitors alike enjoy strolling the charming cobble-stoned streets. Eastward can be found the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough, where the city’s Little Italy is located. Pointe-Claire, on the shore of Lake Saint-Louis in Montreal's West Island, is touted as another incredible neighbourhood to inhabit due to the quality of its municipal services, and its extensive urban forest.
The Growth of Real Estate in Montreal
Unlike Toronto and Vancouver, which both have reputations for hot-to-the-touch, rollercoaster ride real estate markets, the Montreal real estate market has resisted that trend for a long time. It has remained largely stable, with changes appearing more gradually over time—in spite of significant media coverage on Montreal being a fresh, new real estate hot spot.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Sales data pulled from the CREA, and the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB) reveals that Greater Montreal real estate is doing just fine, but it’s not heating up quite as fast as some say:
Although the prices of Montreal homes are rising, they're not rising too high. The benchmark price, which is the price of a typical home, rose to $326,400. That's up just 0.06% from the month before, which works out to a mere $200. This price is 4.64% ($14,500) higher compared to the same month the year before. With regards to luxury buying, August saw 64 sales above a million dollars, compared to 59 last year. This is an 8% growth, which is very modest, but growth nonetheless. Condos were the area that saw the biggest increase in the Montreal housing market. The median price of a condo sold in the Greater Montreal area between April 1 and June 30 was $308,528, up 7.1% from the year-earlier period and up 1.6% from the previous 3-month period.