1. How do Quebec’s investment opportunities compare to the rest of Canada?
Buying real estate in Quebec is still more affordable than other major Canadian cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. Montreal’s trends for 2015 indicate a growing urbanization rate, a buyer’s real estate market, and infrastructural improvements, all pointing to a promising investment climate.
2. Which are the best neighbourhoods to invest in?
Rosemont/La Petite Patrie and Montreal’s South West (St Henri, Atwater and Griffintown) show the greatest promises of growth in the coming years. Average asking prices in Rosemont are $100,000 dollars cheaper than in the surrounding areas, and it’s a neighbourhood that is in high demand due to its proximity to the vibrant plateau. The growth of this area is reflected in the rising real estate value- Nouveau Rosemont saw its condo prices increase by 69% in 2014. Similarly in the South West, homes are 11% cheaper than in surrounding areas- and not for long. Prices have appreciated 40% in the past three years, as the neighbourhood becomes more urbanized and in-demand by the day. The South West is also close enough to the downtown core and business district to secure a high rental occupancy rate, for those looking to buy properties as rental investments. Urban projects like the high-tech hospital that opened in 2015 are sending the prices skyrocketing even higher.
3. How do I plan my investment budget?
Make sure you have a solid understanding of all your monthly expenses before you commit to homeownership. Don’t neglect the ‘little bills’, like hydro, transportation and insurance while doing your calculations. Next, get acquainted with the immediate and long-term costs involved in your real estate purchase. You can consult our Buyer’s Guide for more information regarding total costs. When looking at condo fees, remember to take into account their growth-rates over time. Once you have narrowed down your financial bracket, look into the different loan plans available to you. The Home Buyer’s Plan, for example, is a great option for first time investors. Find out how you can customize your mortgages program to your particular needs- some buyers are more comfortable with fixed rates but others might benefit from variable or accelerating/hybrid payments. Lastly, keep in mind that any monetary assistance from your family that will contribute to your down payment needs to sit in your personal bank account for at least 90 days before you make an offer.
4. What type of unit is the best bet as an investment?
This is where you need to do in-depth research (or work with a knowledgeable broker) to ensure the property you buy will have a profitable return. For rental investments, download our ROI calculator to project costs and returns over the term of your mortgage. Look closely at the plans for the surrounding areas, to check that it will be easy to rent or flip if needed. If you’re buying a brand new condo in a development project, look carefully at the list of amenities offered, as this will ultimately be what draws a future renter or buyer to your unit rather than one in the neighbouring building (make sure the unit has a garage or access to an indoor parking space- in snowy Montreal this is a must!). A comparative market analysis will show you where the property stands in regards to other units in the same area. If you’re buying as an investment, you never want to be the most expensive house on your block!
5. What about design and furnishings?
Refrain from relying on your personal tastes- look at the typical demographic in the area you’re investing in and what their preferences and lifestyles are. The safest option is to keep your interior design simple, minimal, and clean. Light shades, white walls, and natural light have the best success on the rental market.
If you’re buying an older home with the intention of flipping it, keep the sales cycle in mind when planning your renovations. The ideal time to purchase is in late fall, so you have the time to renovate before the market opens in Spring.