Real estate company forecasts Montreal home prices will continue upward trend in 2020

Montreal will continue to be a seller's market in 2020, according to a forecast published by real-estate company Royal LePage.

The company predicts the aggregate price of all home types in the city will rise 5.5 per cent to $457,900, keeping up a similar pace to last year's home appreciation.

"After Quebec was basically done for many, many years, we are now first of the class," said Georges Gauthier, general manager at Royal LePage Village.

"The atmosphere in Montreal is extremely positive."

The company predicts that Montreal will see the highest aggregate home appreciation of any major Canadian city, with the most acute increases in eastern boroughs such as Mercier–Hochelaga–Maisonneuve and Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.

The city's low vacancy rate, millennials seeking family homes, a good economy and consumer confidence are all contributing to the rising home prices, Gauthier said.

"Because inventory levels are really low in Montreal, they will start looking in the suburbs," he said.

City of renters, at a higher price

More Montrealers rent than own, and Gauthier predicts that won't change for a long time to come — although the rental market will become more competitive.

And rents are expected to continue to rise along with home values, pushed up by higher-end apartments being added to the market.

"These units are brand new. They're basically built like condos," he said.

Duplexes and triplexes are increasingly looking like attractive investment properties, he said, with new owners renovating and then renting units at a higher price.

Gauthier said areas that could still be considered affordable are Côte-Saint-Paul, Ville-Émard, western Verdun, Anjou, Saint-Léonard and off-island suburbs.

On CBC Montreal's Daybreak Friday, Mayor Valérie Plante said she would like to work with the province to have stricter rent control, but she said acting alone is "not a power that I have."

She said she wants to limit urban sprawl by having developments in the city that provide public space such as parks, and that a percentage of new units must be rented at a rate considered affordable.