There is a lot of talk in Canada about foreign speculators buying houses and appartments in Canadian cities such as Vancouver and Toronto. It mostly relies on hearsay as there is a huge lack of actual data. I have been wondering what the situation looks like in Montreal.

In this blog post, we will focus on properties that only include 1 dwelling on the tax roll. My understanding is this includes houses and condominiums where each appartment belongs to a separate person, but excludes duplexes and triplexes where a single person owns all appartments.

Disclaimer: I am not familiar with the real estate industry, I am just a guy messing with new data.

The data used is the same as was described earlier in my Who owns Montreal post.

I found 291205 residential tax assessements related to a single dwelling, 34182 of which are registered to a different mailing address. This means that 11.7 % of appartments/houses are either “second homes” or used as investments (long term rental or airbnb) in Montreal.

Does anyone know if this rate of 11.7% is high or low? I don’t. We need more #opendata.

This rate peaks downtown, reaching 38 %, as shown on the following map :

The next step is finding out what percentage of these “second homes/investments” are foreign owned. We turn again to the mailing address and find that 3.6% of these addresses are located outside Canada.

Again, I have no idea if this is high or low. Note that this may be a gross under-estimation. Foreign buyers could hire local agencies to manage their wealth, or create a local company to manage it.

It is interesting to note that 75% of these non-lived-in homes are owned by owners who live on the island of Montreal (postal code starting with “H”). These are probably not second homes a few kilometers away from your real home but investments.

Table 1: Foreign ownership of dwellings not lived in by owner in Montreal
mailing_address_region n pct
Montreal 25 732 75.3
Rest of Quebec 5 370 15.7
Rest of Canada 1 851 5.4
Outside Canada 1 227 3.6
Missing postal address 2 0.0

Overall this means that only 0.4 % of all homes (exluding plexes and rental appartments) have a foreign mailing address in Montreal. This peaks at 2.4% downtown.

Table 2: Foreign ownership of all dwellings in Montreal
mailing_address_region n pct
Montreal 282 755 97.1
Rest of Quebec 5 370 1.8
Rest of Canada 1 851 0.6
Outside Canada 1 227 0.4
Missing postal address 2 0.0

That’s it, have a nice day.
# Appendix

I have included a more detailed table including the sector of the appartments and the status of the owner (physical or moral) shown below for the enthusiast.

Table 3: Counts of all single-dwellings in Montreal by ‘same mailing address as building address’ status, mailing address region, owner status
meme_adresse mailing_address_region statut1 n
FALSE Montreal Personne morale 5 154
FALSE Montreal Personne physique 20 578
FALSE Rest of Quebec Personne morale 1 037
FALSE Rest of Quebec Personne physique 4 333
FALSE Rest of Canada Personne morale 404
FALSE Rest of Canada Personne physique 1 447
FALSE Outside Canada Personne morale 75
FALSE Outside Canada Personne physique 1 152
FALSE Missing postal address Personne physique 2
TRUE Montreal Personne morale 1 534
TRUE Montreal Personne physique 255 489