Finding an affordable house, an almost impossible mission in Montreal

Finding an affordable home, an almost impossible mission in Montreal

and Martin Jolicoeur MISE À DAY

It has become almost impossible for an average family to find a turnkey house at an affordable price in the greater Montreal area. A situation that is however different in Quebec and in the regions. 

With interest rates rising and house prices rising since the pandemic, The Journal wanted to know what the properties an average family can afford were like. offer in each region of Quebec. 

The observation is striking: while it has to make do with a tiny residence in poor condition and requiring huge renovations in Montreal, a middle-class family can afford an imposing property with a huge garden and even a view of the river if she settles in Gaspésie. 

A residence for sale in Gaspé.

  • For this exercise, we have assumed a family of two adults and two children with an average income. 
  • According to this scenario, such a family can currently afford a property whose purchase price does not exceed $315,804, according to the calculations of experts we have consulted. 
  • For the purposes of this report, we have limited ourselves to properties that meet the following criteria: having three bedrooms, having a courtyard, located in an average city and neighborhood, close to services such as schools and, of course, whose sale price does not exceed the maximum set. 

While it was relatively easy to find properties corresponding to these criteria and this budget in most regions, the task proved almost impossible in Montreal. 

Finding an affordable home, an almost impossible mission in Montreal

< p>Finding an affordable home, an almost impossible mission in Montreal

Not easy for a condo either

In the metropolis, only two properties met all the criteria during our research conducted on October 26. And they were far from being turnkey… 

The first of these houses, located in Rivière-des-Prairies and listed at a price of $299,000, is a “one-storey house”. -foot offering a lot of potential for contractors or experienced do-it-yourselfers” dating from 1954. 

The second, displayed at a price of $189,000 and located in the borough of Saint-Laurent, is a.. .mobile home built in 1976. 

“[In the fixed budget], we have almost nothing if we want to be close to the city center. Everything we find is really in the east. Unfortunately, we are no longer there in terms of price in Montreal,” notes Simon Bellemare, real estate broker at RE/MAX in Montreal. 

Even finding a condo that comes close to the same criteria is increasingly difficult, he adds.

“We have more options in condos than in houses, but even there, prices have gone up so much that we are no longer within easy access in this price range, especially if we get closer to services,” he says. 


In the suburbs of Montreal, the story is the same. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find a turnkey residence that meets our criteria in average neighborhoods, both on the South Shore and on the North Shore. 

“In Laval, there is almost nothing in these prices when you look, for example, in Fabreville, in the typical neighborhood with average, family houses, with services. There is no choice,” says Eryck Véziau, broker at RE/MAX in Laval and the Laurentians. 

On the South Shore, Sasha Dusseault agrees, adding that most properties for sale at $315,000 often need a lot of love and are also not in the most desirable neighborhoods. 

“If we want to stay in Longueuil, we will have to be manual and not be bothered to make improvements over time,” she argues. 

Middle-class families unable to find themselves an accessible house in the metropolitan area must make all kinds of concessions, and even change regions, to find the rare pearl. This is particularly the case of Amanda Desjardins and her spouse, who had to give up on their dream of buying a duplex in Brossard. REGION… 

But elsewhere in Quebec, the picture is different. 

In the Capitale-Nationale, the supply of houses for sale is much more attractive.

The same is true in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and even in Estrie, where we found dozens of properties that met our criteria without too much difficulty.

In most cases, it was even possible to find residences there at a price up to $100,000 lower than the maximum budget established for the average Quebec family. < /p>