How many hours an average Montrealer has to work to pay an average rent in Montreal

In case working didn’t sadden you enough, February 2022 Rental market report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggests that the ability to simply afford a rental apartment in Montreal requires more work hours.

In October 2021, a Montreal-area resident earning the average wage had to work 105.8 hours a month so as not to spend more than 30% of his gross income on rent for an average two-bedroom apartment. That’s almost three hours more than they had to work in October 2020 (102.9 hours). For reference, CMHC notes that 150 hours per month (or 37.5 hours per week) is considered full-time.

CMHC has established the average rent for a “purpose-built” two-bedroom apartment (i.e. the unit was built specifically to be a rental apartment) in the census metropolitan area (CMA ) of Montreal, including the Island of Montreal, Laval and parts of the North and South Shore, to $932 in October 2021.

The company did not specify the average hourly wage in the region. But if $932 is 30% of the gross income of someone working 105.8 hours a month, they would earn about $29.36 per hour.

The average rent for two-bedroom purpose-built apartments in Montreal rose 3.9% in October 2021 compared to October 2020, according to the report. The overall average rent increased by 3.7%. This is a smaller jump than between 2019 and 2020 (4.2%), but comparable to the increase between 2018 and 2019 (3.6%). Previously, the last time CMHC noted an average year-over-year rent increase of more than 3.5% was in 2003 (4.7%).

The company also calculated what “affordable” rent (30% of monthly income) looked like for five household income brackets in the Montreal CMA in October 2021.

For Montrealers earning between $25,000 and $36,000 a year and spending 30% of their income on housing, for example, the corresponding affordable rents were between $625 and $899. According to the CMHC, there were 289,626 rental units in this range in the CMA.

Montreal households earning between $36,000 and $53,000 could afford rents between $900 and $1,324 (167,680 apartments). Those with income between $53,000 and $81,000 could pay between $1,325 and $2,024 (57,738 units).

There were 78,874 apartments available with monthly rent below $625. And, for people earning $81,000 or more, 8,745 apartments with rent of $2,025 or more.

The cover image of this article was used for illustrative purposes only.

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