Where to buy Montreal real estate in 2018 - MoneySense

Where to buy real estate in Montreal 2018

Realtors still see upside in neighbourhoods on and nearby Montreal Island

montreal real estate

(Marc Bruxelle/Shutterstock)

Want to know what most Montreal buyers are complaining about these days? It’s the shortage of two-storey houses and bungalows on the market. Even condo buyers are impacted by this shortfall, as low inventory helps push prices of all property types up.

How bad is the problem? In the first three months of 2018, the median price of a two-storey house in Montreal rose to $492,751 — an 8.3% year-over-year increase. The worst hit area was, of course, the hot downtown communities, where home prices increased by 13.9% by March 2018. What else could you expect when the number of sales increased by 6% in March 2018 compared to March 2017, while the number of listings dropped by 16% in the same time period.

As expected, most Montreal buyers spend very little time griping. There’s business to be done and homes to be bought. Montreal is booming and with a strong local economy, most buyers and investors are far more concerned about finding the right home.

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Still, there are questions. Is the city’s property market entering a bubble? Just last year, we were reporting how hot Montreal real estate market was. Has anything changed? Yes and no. After decades of slow growth, Montreal’s gains in property values are a welcome sight. And these gains have to be put into perspective. A gain of 14% on a $450,000 home is only a $63,000, while a 14% gain on a Vancouver home is closer to $270,000 (based on the average cost of a single-family home in the GVA which was just above $1.92-million).

Now, add to this mix a bunch of proactive developers. Montreal experienced a big jump in housing starts last year and when this product comes on the market, in the next few years, it will probably help to moderate any future price increases.

Of course, none of this helps buyers right now. We can. As in previous years, we ranked all the Greater Montreal neighbourhoods to find good, solid value communities. By examining downtown communities and commuter neighbourhoods we identify the areas poised to maintain their value and continue their pricing momentum. As always, the key to a smart real estate buy, particularly in a hotter market, is to find a neighbourhood that can withstand a potential correction and offers the possibility of future growth. That’s what our Top 25 neighbourhoods offer — a chance to buy a home that fits your lifestyle and your budget and can withstand whatever hiccups may come your way.

ClickTap column headings to re-rank neighbourhoods. ClickTap on any neighbourhood name to learn more about it. Search by neighbourhood or area to filter results.

Rank Neighbourhood Area Average home price (2017) Value Momentum Realtor Grade Average price vs. area Avg. price vs. metro district Avg. price vs. outer region 1-year price change 3-year price change 5-year price change
2Saint-Mathias-sur-RichelieuSouth Shore$306,13361.4692.43★★½89.91%89.02%80.51%11.71%27.25%31.35%
3Rosemont/La Petite-PatrieMontréal Island$585,43129.5897.03★★★½100.00%98.97%153.95%19.96%24.00%43.33%
4Pointe-CalumetNorth Shore$209,34095.8374.90★★79.04%73.05%55.05%6.38%12.59%22.86%
5Saint-HubertSouth Shore$299,86458.7565.38★★★½100.00%87.19%78.86%7.11%14.10%15.28%
6BlainvilleNorth Shore$400,34634.1777.79★★★★97.76%139.70%105.28%11.93%17.51%17.24%
7Vaudreuil-Dorion - Secteur DorionVaudreuil-Soulanges$286,98970.4244.16★★★½88.48%86.63%75.47%5.00%5.82%13.57%
8Pointe-ClaireMontréal Island$479,47649.5896.23★★½82.77%81.05%126.09%14.60%30.66%31.57%
9MirabelNorth Shore$301,23350.4275.41★★★100.00%105.11%79.22%5.92%16.25%19.87%
11Les CèdresVaudreuil-Soulanges$248,76779.1749.76★★★97.24%75.09%65.42%10.81%7.85%11.58%
12BrossardSouth Shore$422,91138.1375.16★★★½92.05%122.97%111.21%6.02%14.25%21.75%
13GoreNorth Shore$247,19066.8898.93★½102.20%86.25%65.00%31.43%27.89%66.33%
14Greenfield ParkSouth Shore$306,05861.4670.84★★★91.54%89.00%80.49%8.84%14.33%16.23%
18Villeray/Saint-Michel/Parc-ExtensionMontréal Island$390,59554.3866.17★★★100.00%66.03%102.72%7.33%7.51%19.88%
19Le Sud-OuestMontréal Island$525,43536.2587.79★★★99.49%88.82%138.18%8.69%22.68%28.71%
20LachineMontréal Island$442,12647.9290.74★★½99.55%74.74%116.27%15.38%20.86%26.22%
21Vaudreuil-Dorion - Secteur Vaudreuil OuestVaudreuil-Soulanges$338,61552.9249.50★★★½85.99%102.21%89.05%4.69%13.61%11.58%
22Saint-PhilippeSouth Shore$273,02370.4266.38★★½98.28%79.39%71.80%5.18%8.30%23.74%
23Saint-JérômeNorth Shore$234,43678.7548.83★★½96.93%81.80%61.65%5.44%7.31%13.65%
24Les CoteauxVaudreuil-Soulanges$221,20392.5030.20★★★86.47%66.77%58.17%2.63%11.31%8.65%
25Saint-AmableSouth Shore$245,28290.2138.39★★½80.20%71.32%64.50%4.95%7.31%11.34%
Measures how affordable the neighbourhood is compared to the surrounding area and the region overall
Measures how quickly prices are appreciating in this neighbourhood, with an emphasis on long term appreciation
Realtor Grade
How realtors we surveyed rate this neighbourhood

For more, please see our complete methodology

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What makes the top five neighbourhoods stand out?

1. Laval-Ouest (Fabreville)

Laval is positioned as the “heart of Greater Montreal,” primarily because it’s close to all transportation routes and can easily link up all major centres in Quebec. In other words, it’s a hub and that’s great for commuters. As a result, families have flocked to this area for some time and almost 85% of those that live in this community are homeowners. When you compare this to downtown Montreal, where more than 80% are renters, you begin to see why Laval-Ouest bubbled to the top of our ranking this year (up 34 spots from last year).

Homes in this community tend to be older often built before 1980 and two-thirds of all households have children. Commuters like this neighbourhood as it’s only 15 to 30 minutes away from downtown Montreal, depending on weather conditions and time of day.

The average single-family house price, in 2017, for this neighbourhood was just over $262,000, which is $120,000 less than the average home price of Greater Montreal. This great value is finally getting noticed, too, with prices growing by 11% in 2017. Thankfully, buyers can still expect good value as Laval-Ouest’s one-year growth rate was nowhere near the biggest gainers last year, such as Gore, the No. 5 neighbourhood in our 2017 ranking. Gore experienced a 31% price jump in just one year.

2. Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu (Chambly)

This outer suburban community jumped 86 spots to No. 2 this year and with good reason. The average home price in this neighbourhood was just over $306,100, almost $75,000 less than the average house price in the Greater Montreal Area (GMA). But it’s what buyers can get that really makes the difference. Rather than settling for a townhome with a postage stamp backyard, buyers can move into a three or four-bedroom detached home with a front and backyard. First, though, you’ll have to make peace with the commute. Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu is a 30-minute drive from Montreal’s core — more if you hit traffic or get bad weather. As a result, there are some urban-dwellers that don’t even consider this community to be a part of Montreal, but it is part of Greater Montreal and for those who want to stretch their house-buying dollar the south shore is becoming more and more popular.

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3. Rosemont / La Petite-Patrie (Rosemont)

The No. 3 spot on our list is the only neighbourhood on our top five list located on the Island of Montreal — and it’s not cheap. Average home prices in Rosemont / La Petite-Patrie are just above $585,000 — more than $200,000 more than the GMA’s average house price. What pushed this community up in the ranks — it took the No. 17 spot in our Where to Buy Now 2017 ranking — is its momentum over the last few years. In 2017, prices grew by 20% in this neighbourhood and over the last five years, home values grew by 43%.

The draw is that the neighbourhood is central — it’s close to all the hip, young, funky stores and restaurants that make downtown living in Montreal so enjoyable.

A few years ago it could’ve been considered one of Montreal’s hottest neighbourhoods, which is why its momentum has been so strong for the last half-decade, but recent developments including new condos just make the single-family homes in this community all the more desirable and valuable.

4. Pointe-Calumet (Ouest de la Rive-Nord)

The only north-shore community in our Top 5 list this year is Pointe-Calumet. While many urban Montrealers will argue that this community isn’t really part of Montreal, the truth is, it is — and despite a 45-minute drive to downtown Montreal, it’s becoming increasingly popular.

The big reason is that the neighbourhood offers three and four-bedroom detached homes at extremely affordable prices. Average single-family homes cost about $210,000 — $75,000 less than the district average price and $170,000 less than the metropolitan average price. For buyers, it’s hard to scoff at those savings, which is why this neighbourhood is up 11 spots from last year’s No. 15 rank to No. 4 in the Where to Buy Now in Montreal in 2018.

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5. Saint-Hubert (Saint-Hubert)

Another south-shore neighbourhood to make it into our Top 5 Montreal list is Saint-Hubert. Last year this quiet community was No. 31 in the ranking, this year it’s No. 5. Part of the reason is that the community offers quaint, two to four-bedroom detached homes at reasonable prices. The average cost for a single-family home in 2017 in this neighbourhood was just under $300,000 — a full $80,000 less than the average home in the Greater Montreal Area.

The community is only 20 to 30 minutes away from downtown Montreal, which is great for people who don’t mind the commute. But it’s particularly attractive to those that work in Quebec’s aerospace industry, which is a big employer in the Longueuil area.

Realtor Pick (tie)

1. Vaudreuil-Dorion

For a few years now, realtors have been doubling-down on this community, which is just west of Montreal Island. According to Montreal realtors, the area initially attracted commercial clients, since all the highways from the west converge on this area. But being only 40 minutes, by car, from Montreal’s downtown core means Vaudreuil-Dorion is becoming more and more attractive to younger families who want newer, larger homes.

In 2017, the neighbourhood ranked No. 7, primarily because it held a lot of value but price appreciation (momentum) hadn’t caught up. This year, it sits at No. 6 in our rankings, proving that it still may be a bit of a seed starting to germinate.

2. Villeray/Saint-Michel/Parc-Extension

This Montreal Island neighbourhood is older and offers buyers a chance to get an outdated home or duplex and renovate to add a bit of sweat equity. Of course, buyers with a bit of coin can also find newly renovated or new-build homes given that almost all neighbourhood’s in the city core are in high demand. Average home prices here are only slightly more expensive than the GMA average price, at $390,595.

Turns out a few years ago, realtors we spoke to suggested this neighbourhood would slowly gentrify over the next five to seven years. Well, we’re about half-way through that prediction and, interestingly enough, this neighbourhood moved up in the rankings from No. 26 in 2017 to No. 17 in 2018.

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We also ranked the best neighbourhoods in three regions — core, inner suburbs and outer. The core is the city’s urban centre, with accessible transit and easy access to amenities. The inner suburbs are for people who don’t mind trading a longer commute for better parking and a bigger lot size. And the outer region is for buyers who either don’t need to commute downtown at all, or are willing to log some serious travel time in exchange for affordable prices and wide open spaces. Check out the map below to see how the regions break down.

Regions map