Montreal Among Most Affordable Major Cities in the World


By Daniele Iannarone

Montreal may just be the perfect place to settle down, but you may want to be selective about the part of town you wish to live in.

Nestpick, a website that accumulates housing data from around the world, compiled a “neighbourhood price index,” looking at the cost of rent in over 700 neighbourhoods in cities worldwide.  The study looked at rent prices relative to factors such as the cost of rent in a particular neighbourhood in relation to the rest of the city, the percentage of disposable income required to pay rent for residents of a particular neighbourhood, and the hours of work on a minimum wage salary needed in order to pay rent.

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Montreal’s Rosemont-la-petite-patrie and Ahuntisc-Cartierville neighbourhoods are among the most affordable in major cities studied.  If you’re earning a minimum wage salary, for example, the Ahuntsic-Cartierville neighbourhood is rated as having the most affordable rent in the world.

On the flip side, the Vieux-Montreal neighbourhood is among the most expensive in Canada, even more expensive than Toronto’s Midtown, although it is important to note that this study did not investigate rent prices in Vancouver.  According to Tracey Berman, Real Estate Agent for Royal Lepage in the West Island, Old Montreal is particularly expensive because there isn’t much room for development and it’s full of old buildings.  On average, however, rent is much more expensive in Toronto than in Montreal.

According to Berman, Montreal never experienced the dramatic surge in rent prices that were experienced in many parts of Canada recently.  “Our political climate really distinguishes us from the other major cities,” she explains, adding that Quebec’s higher taxes and more socialist makeup can also be reasons why prices haven’t ballooned in Montreal.

This said, Berman points out that consumer confidence in Montreal is high, which is driving people to buy.  She points out that the top three factors influencing the price of property are its location, consumer confidence and interest rates.

Unsurprisingly, London, San Francisco and Hong Kong are among the most expensive cities in the world in almost every category.  These cities are, of course, financial and innovative hubs, but Berman reckons that they’re so expensive because there’s little room for these cities to expand.  “A potential solution to this will be telecommuting,” she says about how to alleviate the demand for housing in these cities.

Montreal, however, should still be considered a world-class city for residents and investors alike.  “Montreal is a great city to invest in, even globally,” concludes Berman.

Visit Nestpick’s website to see the full statistics.