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Montreal: Immigrant and Identifiable Non-Resident Buyers

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Montreal: Immigrant and Identifiable Non-Resident Buyers

Home purchases by non-resident buyers have been drawing attention lately. Most of the discussion has centered on the Vancouver and Toronto markets. However, since Montréal is also a major urban center in Canada, it is also important to continue to monitor the situation of non-resident buyers on the Montréal housing market.

In our latest Housing Market Insight for Montréal, we update data from our previous report (September 2017) to see what the latest trends are so far in 2018.

We also suggest that immigrant buyers can sometimes be mistaken for non-resident buyers. This mistaken identity could play a role in the perception that non-resident buyers are a larger group than they really are.

Highlights from the data

  • From January to August 2018, about 690 identifiable non-resident buyers bought homes in the Montréal area. This is an increase of around 11.5% compared to the same period in 2017.
  • Still, just like in 2017, under 2% of all residential purchases in the Montréal area were made by identifiable non-residents. However, this proportion probably underestimates the reality somewhat.
  • Data from 2016 shows that immigrant households, meanwhile, accounted for 25% of all Montréal-area home purchases that year, which is proportional to their demographic weight. On the Island of Montréal, this proportion rises to about 40%.
  • When looking at newly arrived immigrants (between 2011 and 2016) from all geographic areas of the CMA, those from China most often opt to purchase property (as opposed to renting a home).

Relative Significance of Immigrant Households Compared to Total Households and Total Buyers, Montréal CMA, 2016

Areas of the CMA

Proportion (%) of Immigrant Households Relative to Total Households

Proportion (%) of Immigrant Buyers Compared to Total Buyers

City of Montréal




Island of Montréal (excluding the city of Montréal)






Longueuil Agglomeration



North Shore



South Shore



Montréal CMA



Sources: Statistics Canada (2016 Census); CMHC calculations