Vacant apartments in Montreal have "exploded" during COVID-19 pandemic

Jan 22 2021, 8:52 am

Apartment rental vacancy has “exploded” in Montreal throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a new study conducted by the Quebec Landlords Corporation (CORPIQ), Montreal’s rental real estate has “exploded since December.” The high vacancy rate across the city is great news for renters looking for a new spot to call home.

As for Montreal landlords, the CORPIQ says it might lead to some difficulties in re-renting real estate.

In December, for example, the city’s apartment vacancy rate increase to 6% compared to 1% in May of 2020.

“The pandemic and the current economic crises is particularly affecting the rental of housing in Montreal,” says Hans Brouillette in French, CORPIQ’s Director of Public Affairs.

“People who work in retail, restaurants, tourism and the cultural sector are experiencing more uncertainty about their jobs. In addition, the student population and immigrants represent a sharp drop in rental demand.”

Brouillette says that optimism is “much less” in Montreal compared to the rest of the province citing that 30% of Montreal landlords expecting a “much more difficult relocation season in 2021.”

Montreal metropolitan area vacancy rates, December 2020
Montreal 6%
Chaudière-Appalaches 3.3%
Abitibi-Témiscamingue 3.1%
Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean 2%
Québec 1.6%
Montérégie 1.4%
Laval 1.4%
Lanaudière 1.2%
Outaouais 0.9%
Laurentides 0.9%
Bas-Saint-Laurent 0.9%
Centre-du-Québec 0.8%
Estrie 0.8%
Mauricie 0.5%

According to the CORPIQ, the average annual rental growth in Quebec was 1.9% in 2019, fell to 1.2% in 2020, and will continue to decrease throughout 2021.

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