Canada: rental yields are good in Montreal

January 31, 2018

Last Updated: Jan. 31, 2018
Bay. St. Corridor 9,343 32.62 4.19% 868 3.03
Church Village 7,750 30.03 4.65% 720 2.79
City Place 6,964 30.36 5.23% 647 2.82
Distillery District 8,342 33.91 4.88% 775 3.15
Fort York 7,406 29.39 4.76% 688 2.73
King West 8,278 33.80 4.90% 769 3.14
Queen West 8,547 33.15 4.65% 794 3.08
St. Lawrence Market 7,309 31.86 5.23% 679 2.96
The Annex 10,678 32.08 3.60% 992 2.98
The Core 8,482 33.37 4.72% 788 3.1
The Waterfront 8,622 31.22 4.34% 801 2.90
Yorkville 10,657 35.09 3.95% 990 3.26
Casa Loma 8,245 31.97 4.65% 766 2.97
Mount Pleasant West 7,309 30.46 5.00% 679 2.83
Rosedale-Moore Park 9,053 26.48 3.51% 841 2.46
Yonge-Eglinton 8,310 30.36 4.38% 772 2.82
Yonge-St Clair 7,869 30.03 4.58% 731 2.79
Coal Harbour 15,264 n.a. n.a. 1,418 n.a.
Davie Village 9,494 n.a. n.a. 882 n.a.
Downtown  12,691 n.a. n.a. 1,179 n.a.
Gastown 9,042 n.a. n.a. 840 n.a.
Kitsilano 9,031 n.a. n.a. 839 n.a.
West End 10,786 n.a. n.a. 1002 n.a.
West Point Grey 9,914 n.a. n.a. 921 n.a.
Yaletown 10,915 n.a. n.a. 1,014 n.a.
All yields are gross - i.e., before taxes, repair costs, ground rents, estate agents fees, and any other costs. Net yields (what you´ll really earn) are typically around 1.5% to 2% lower.
Source: Definitions: Data FAQ See also: Update Schedule

Rental returns on apartments in Montreal tend to outpace those in Toronto. We´ve found in recent years that even on a largish 120 sq. m. apartment in Montreal, you are likely to earn a gross rental return over of 5 %. If you own a small apartment of 60 sq. m. in Montreal and rent it out, you are likely to make a return of around 7%. In this low-return era, in a low-risk country such as Canada, that is a really acceptable, not to say enticing, yield.

In Toronto, gross rental yields are lower, at between 4% to 6%, sometimes even lower. Taking account of the fact that we give gross figures - a guess might be that net yields would be 2% lower - then obviously the difference in returns between Montreal and Toronto is really significant.

If you are looking for rental returns, Montreal is the city that you want.

We continue to find it hard to collect yields figures for Vancouver, and this year we have not managed to get sufficient figures for reliable figures for Montreal. For reasons too complex to explain here, that´s because that strange habit, common in the Anglo-Saxon world, of classifying listings per number of rooms rather than by the size of the apartment, makes it really hard for us to present accurate yields figures.



Peter | June 10, 2010

Montreal yields are high because Quebec laws are particularly pro-tenant; and if you want to get on in Quebec you really need to speak French.

For example if you want your tenant to leave you have to follow a VERY precise sequence of notices (use recorded delivery) but even then they have the right to appeal.

Next you'll get a judge (actually less senior than a judge more like in English you would call a solicitor or such). The proceeding will most probably all be in French. You'll have to prove you're about to move back into the property (because you have no where else to live) or you're doing renovations (with a work order to back it up) or you're selling the property in order to get the tenant out.

It's not always easy; but the challenges clearly are worth the rewards as Montreal is a very attractive city; with a wonderful quality of life. And as an investor yields as you correctly point out are great but even better it's been appreciating slowly but steadily more so than any other major city in Canada (which suffered wild swings in 2008). And even today it is STILL significantly below fair value vs wages compared to other Canadian cities.

Underpinning this are very strong fundamentals of employment and population growth.

Montreal has a thriving aerospace, it's fair share of blue chip HQs (less than once before after the pro-French stuff took hold but still companies like Air Canada, L'Oreal, Ubisoft, Bombardier, Rolls-Royce and many more are HQed in Montreal).

Tech companies benefit from generous subsidises too – especially computer games and multimedia which are subsidised to the tune of nearly 50% of payroll... all paid for not by debt but in a round about way from an abundant free and green energy source in the form of government owned hydro power in the north of Quebec.

Finally health care is great. Three new super hospitals being built in the next 3 years.

Also very much a university town with Canada's top McGill campus plus many more like Concordian (popular with international students; amazing new glass high-res campus downtown).

Oh and finally Montreal's bike sharing system was so good London, UK and Boston ordered Montreal to make one for them too.

Population growth:
Since the late 90s Montrealer's pay $7/day for the child care. And even if you're self-employeed women get annual maternity leave equivalent to 75% of their previous year's earnings.

Result. Baby boom since the 1990s in Quebec. And given they all have to go to school in French more than elsewhere in Canada (which losses talent to the States to a fair degree) they are more prone to stay in Quebec boosting demand for housing.

Again these government incentives (child care and parental benefits) are not particularly subsidised by DEBT but by assets like hydro which also power Rio Tinto smelters up North bringing further cash.

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