Québec’s renter households tend to be 1-person households concentrated at both ends of the age spectrum. They also live mainly in some of the city’s least affordable central sectors.
These are some of the findings from our latest Housing Market Insight (HMI) for Québec. Using a special compilation of data from the Statistics Canada 2016 Census, this HMI takes a close look at Québec’s renter households. The report highlights their characteristics, focusing on geographic sectors, household composition, age and income, housing affordability, and household mobility.
Québec renters concentrated in less affordable central sectors
Québec renter households live mainly in La Cité-Limoilou (which includes the Haute-Ville and Basse-Ville sectors), Sainte-Foy – Sillery and Les Rivières. These central sectors, with the exception of Les Rivières, are also among the least affordable sectors for renters.
Here are some more highlights from the HMI:
- Renter households fall mainly into 1 of 2 age groups: under 35 years old, or 75 years old and over. The younger group generally opts for the central sectors. The older one, meanwhile, has a stronger tendency to live in newly built dwellings.
- Most renters are 1-person households. In 2016, such households accounted for 54.5% of renters, but represented only 35.2% of all households.
- The Basse-Ville is the Québec sector where renter households have the lowest median income. In 2016, 28.6% of Québec renter households with incomes below $30,000 lived in the Basse-Ville.
- In 2016, the sectors with the highest relative housing costs for renters were Sainte-Foy – Sillery and the Haute-Ville. In Sainte-Foy – Sillery, renter households earning the median income spent 25.7% of their income to pay their rent. In the Haute-Ville, the figure was 24.8%.
Québec remains one of the most affordable CMAs for renters
We’ve mentioned that Québec’s renter households are concentrated in some of the city’s least affordable sectors. Still, compared to other Canadian cities, Québec has one of the lowest percentages of renter households living in unaffordable housing. In other words, Québec is one of the most affordable Canadian cities for renters.
In fact, only Saguenay is more affordable. This raises another important point: overall, the province of Quebec has very favourable conditions for renters. Of the most affordable cities for renters in 2016, 5 were in Quebec.