Buying an affordable home in today’s environment is a major challenge for renter households in Montréal, Québec and Gatineau. Data indicates that lower-income renter households generally don’t have access to affordable homes — even those in the lower price ranges. As a result, the rental market seems to be an essential option for these households.
Higher-income renter households could face limited choices in affordable homes in the Montréal and Gatineau areas — especially in the single-family home segment. This difficult access to homeownership:
- restricts the availability of rental units on the market
- puts upward pressure on rents and thereby decrease housing affordability on the rental market
Our latest Housing Market Insight explores a renter’s ability buy an affordable property based on their 2020 income in Montréal, Québec and Gatineau. We examined the price ranges in which they could access homeownership, where applicable.
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Few affordable property options for renter households in Montréal seeking to purchase, even in the lower price ranges
From 2019 to 2020, house price increases were greater in the higher price ranges. This doesn’t mean that a renter household could easily purchase an affordable home.
In fact, the least affluent renter households had almost no properties that could be considered affordable, even in the lower price range. The rental market therefore seems to be the only housing option for these lower-income households.
Only 20% of single-family homes were affordable for renter households with an income of $58,000 (more affluent than 50% of other renters). These households had slightly more choice in the condominium segment.
For renter households with incomes of $80,000 (more affluent than 80% of other renters), we found that 70% of condominium units could be considered affordable. In the single-family home and 2- to 5-unit plex segments, this proportion fell to only 50% and 20%, respectively.
Affordable home purchase options exist for renter households in Québec but challenging for the less affluent
Only about 10% of single-family homes were affordable for households with incomes of $41,000 (more affluent than 40% of other renters). In the case of condominiums, that proportion rose to about 50%.
For renter households with an income of $52,000 (more affluent than 60% of other renters), about 70% of condominium units were affordable. For single-family homes and plexes with two to five units, that proportion was about 50% and 30%.
Renter households with an income of $80,000 (more affluent than 80% of other renters) could buy an affordable condominium unit in all price ranges. They had slightly less choice in the single-family home and plex segments.
The results show that house prices there were relatively more affordable for renter households than in the province’s other 2 major CMAs.
Few affordable home purchase choices for most renter households in the Ottawa-Gatineau area
The less affluent renter households in Ottawa-Gatineau could not afford to become homeowners in the Gatineau area without spending more than 30% of their income. The rental market therefore seems to be the main housing option for them.
Renter households with an income of $47,000 (more affluent than 40% of other renter households) were able to buy an affordable single-family home. However, only if it was in the least expensive 20%.
Only renter households with an income of $96,000 (more affluent than 80% of other renter households) have the means to buy an affordable home within a corresponding proportion of single-family houses (80%).
Like single-family homes, almost no condominium units could be considered affordable for the least affluent renter households. For those with higher incomes, condominium units are becoming more affordable faster than single-family homes.