Montreal Real Estate Stories April 25th 2018

Feature photo ©Bonnie Meisels

Montreal Real Estate Stories April 25th 2018

Montreal real estate stories April 25th 2018 begins with the STM, Société de transport de Montréal which announced it’s plans to construct a nearly 300-unit housing project near the Frontenac metro station.

This is the first time the STM will be providing housing for Montrealers, and not just transportation services. The project is “a first step toward the development of its real-estate holdings,” said chairman Philippe Schnobb.

“The complex, consisting of four buildings ranging from two to 12 storeys, will be built on a 54,200-square-foot parking lot owned by the STM. It will include 60 subsidized units for low-income residents, 109 affordable condos, 129 market-price condos and a two-storey office building for the STM.

About 45 per cent of the units will have two bedrooms, about 35 per cent will have one bedroom, and between 12 and 22 per cent will have three. It will include 213 underground parking spots.”

The project will be managed by STM subsidiary, Transgesco. It is being considered an example of transit-oriented development (TOD) — projects built to encourage the use of public transportation.

Construction will start in the summer of 2019 and be completed in 24 months, said STM spokesperson Amélie Régis.

Read the full article below:

STM launches real-estate project near Frontenac métro station

Montreal’s transit corporation is branching out from transporting Montrealers to giving them a place to call home. The city and the Société de transport de Montréal announced Wednesday a plan to construct a nearly 300-unit housing project near the Frontenac métro station.

A NEW Accès Condos accredited project close to the Frontenac metro station in 2021

The Ville de Montréal has just approved the start of the Frontenac real estate project, a large-scale project that includes the construction of nearly 300 housing units, of which one third will be Accès Condos accredited, just minutes from the Frontenac metro station, several bus routes, a Maison de la culture and local shops, […]

Many reports were released in April, from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Royal Bank, Crea, and Cushman and Wakefield to name just a few. All put together, this will provide a comprehensive snapshot of where our real estate market and economics are at both locally and nation wide.  We’ll start with the CMHC’s quarterly report.


Montreal’s CMHC Housing Market Assessment – First Quarter 2018

The (CMHC) Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation  just released its first quarter assessment for 2018. The CMHC evaluates real estate vulnerability, prices and construction at both the national and provincial levels.

When prices are overvalued, homeowners and mortgage lenders are at risk of a housing bubble. Tighter inventory supplies have kept the montreal real estate market strong and a sellers market in certain neighborhoods. Although the market is healthy, there’s little evidence of overheat. There is weak evidence of price acceleration and the agency believes most of the market’s price movement is based on fundamentals at this time.

Here are some interesting stats from the CMHC comparing Montreal market sales numbers from 2017 to 2018, along with the monthly unemployment rates, salaries and mortgage rates as they’ve changed.



Check out the CMHC map of comparison of housing starts:



While Montreal’s market has enjoyed strong sales in the first few months of 2018 with low vulnerability, the same can’t be said for some of the other Canadian provinces. High vulnerability was found in several provinces.

Chart source via CMHC



Chart comparison of sales across the provinces from 2017, along with forcasts for 2018 and 2019

Chart source via CREA

Crea Canadian Sales And Forcasts Charts 2017 - 2019

Crea’s National Price Map

Mortgage Rate Update for April

The bank of Canada decided to hold it’s key interest rate at 1.25% for now, but further rate hikes are still in the picture. Growth slowed down to 1.3 per cent in the first three months of the year. The impact of new federal mortgage rules and other housing policies succeeded in cooling off the real estate market in the first three months of 2018. The next rate hike is expected in July.


“The bank, for 2018, is now predicting two per cent growth, as measured by real gross domestic product, compared to its 2.2 per cent prediction in January. The bank raised its growth projection for 2019 to 2.1 per cent, up from its previous prediction of 1.6 per cent, before easing to 1.8 per cent in 2020. It noted that these readings would still be slightly above Canada’s estimated potential output for the next three years.”

RBC Poll: Canadians Reveal Highest Home Purchase Intent in Eight Years

In summary, the recently released RBC poll shared these findings:

  • Annual RBC Home Ownership Poll* reveals 32 per cent of Canadians are likely to buy a home in the next two years, up seven percentage points over last year
  • More millennials (ages 18-34) are intending to become homeowners as employment anxiety eases and are expressing the strongest of those homebuying intentions (50 per cent)
  • Home owners spent five weeks searching online for their current home
  • One in five Canadians received financial assistance from their family to help with their down payment
RBC Royal Bank-Confidence Boost- Canadians Reveal Highest Home P

One third of Canadians say they are likely to purchase a home in the next two years: RBC Poll (CNW Group/RBC Royal Bank)

“Four-in-10 (39 per cent) Canadians are aware of the latest Stress Test Guidelines issued by the Office of the Superintendant of Financial Institutions (OSFI) for uninsured mortgages, and over half (55 per cent) indicate that the guidelines are impacting their purchase decisions. This includes making higher down payments (25 per cent), delaying home purchases (19 per cent) or buying a less expensive, smaller home or a less expensive one in a different location (18 per cent respectively). As intention to buy continues to climb in Canada, just over one one-third (35 per cent) of Canadians indicated they had received/would be receiving financial assistance from their family for a down payment, while almost an equal number (36 per cent) plan to do it on their own with a dedicated savings account.”

In conclusion, despite all the new Government changes and regulations, Canadians are still feeling optimistic about getting into the housing market. They are just getting more prepared and informed. In fact, the top two homebuying challenges buyers face are: choosing the right property (32 per cent) and deciding how much they can afford (21 per cent). Nearly one-in-10 Millennials said they would purchase a home without ever physically seeing it. Overall, Canadians value being able to “visit” virtually, with almost half (49 per cent) saying they looked at photos/videos of prospective homes online. Finally, to help determine costs and affordability, 39 per cent of home owners took valuations of neighbouring homes into account, and 36 per cent used affordability calculators. Millennials believe that a home purchase is a good investment – in fact, 84 per cent responded it’s a “very good or good investment” and are reporting an increased likelihood (11 per cent) of buying a home within the next two years.

Over half (61 per cent) of Canadians are very or somewhat concerned about interest rate increases – a jump of almost 10 per cent from last year. Over one-third (35 per cent) are thinking about buying a home sooner because of current low interest rates, while another one-third (32 per cent) were also thinking of doing so because of a potential increase in interest rates.

**These were the findings of the annual RBC Home Ownership Poll conducted by Ipsos from January 9 – January 24, 2018 on behalf of Royal Bank of Canada  Access the full report



Bonnie Meisels
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