Households that leave Montreal for suburbs still saving money, despite commuting costs: report

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Thousands of Montrealers are moving to the suburbs. Global News

People who move to the suburbs are saving more money than people who choose to stay in the City of Montreal, according to a report by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

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The results revealed that many young households (ages 25 to 44) left the City of Montreal to buy single-family homes in the suburbs, where dwellings are generally less expensive.

“This age group and this housing type account for a large part of the migration movements observed among Montreal area households every year,” the CMHC reported.

“Some of these households continue to work in the geographic sector where they used to live, thereby increasing their commuting cost and time.”

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The conclusion is that people who buy single-family homes in the suburbs are still saving money — even if commuting time and cost are factored in.

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“These households would have to place a relatively high value on the additional time they spend getting to work in order to offset these savings,” explained Francis Cortellino, an economist of market insights with CMHC.

“As well, the homes bought in the suburbs are often larger and newer.”

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The savings equal to about $500 a month on mortgage payments. In Longueuil, households saved about $210, while those who lived in the western areas (such as Beauharnois, Châteauguay and Mercier), saved about $830.

Those who moved to Vaudreuil-Soulanges saved about $560. Montreal households who moved to the North Shore saved about $650 a month on their mortgage payments.

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For residents who chose to move to the northwestern part of the North Shore (like Mirabel and Saint-Jérôme), the savings were about $955, compared to those who moved to the more central areas (Blainville, Rosemère and Sainte-Thérèse) who saved about $200.

According to the report, the vast majority of buyers (87 per cent) who purchased single-family homes in the City of Montreal lived somewhere in the sector a year ago.

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In Laval, about 60 per cent of buyers lived in the municipality — but 30 per cent relocated from Montreal. Statistics gathered in 2016 found about 50 per cent of Laval households continued to work in the city.

On the South Shore, nearly 70 per cent of buyers already lived in the sector, but another 20 per cent crossed over the Saint Lawrence River.

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“In light of the data… it can be seen that the City of Montreal loses buyers of single-family homes to the suburbs, even though it remains a major employment hub,” the report states.

However, even suburban areas like Longueuil and Laval are losing households to the more outlying sectors, something that has been consistent since 2016.

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The North Shore is taking about 12 per cent of home buyers from Laval, while the South Shore is losing people to suburbs like Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

Places like Vaudreuil-Soulanges are also attracting home buyers from the City of Montreal, as well as the West Island.

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