“Tandem jump and helicopter tours”: owners of downtown Montreal make extra stops to attract tenants

MONTREAL – The Content Director of Rentals.ca has seen a lot of great promotions over the years, but an ad for an apartment near the downtown Concordia University campus really stood out.

“[I’ve seen] tickets for tandem skydiving and helicopter tours as well as 2 months free rent, ”said Paul Danison.

The Rentals.ca team says the incentives for rentals in downtown Montreal and Toronto started about 6 months ago in a bigger way than they’ve ever seen.

“In Toronto, in addition to a month’s rent free, there’s a landlord who offers a fully stocked wine fridge if you sign a one-year lease,” says Danison.

In 2019, a website study found that the average rent in downtown Montreal rose 37% year-over-year, with the vacancy rate hitting a 15-year low, and many Rental units previously available for long term rental were now short term rental. run on sites like Airbnb. This year, Rentals.ca says rents have fallen an average of 3%, and in some cases, drastically more.

“It used to be a pretty tight market where landlords controlled, it’s a tenant market right now,” Danison said, “and landlords are fighting over the best tenants.”

“Basically the city center has lost its appeal,” says real estate agent Amy Assaad, who pointed out that with less international business travel, fewer foreign students and more people leaving the city for suburbs, downtown owners are struggling.

“More than ever, we are being hired by public companies and big developers to help them in their rental market,” she said, adding that she had seen many landlords offering two or three months of free rent, and even one who offered a $ 1,000 gift card to the Apple Store if someone signed a one-year lease.

Over the past year, Assaad says his business has been driven largely by people wanting single-family homes.

“We had to restructure our marketing because the reality is that the suburban markets are very strong right now,” she said. “We used to advertise in office towers. Obviously, this is not working at the moment.

But Assaad believes the city center has already started to bounce back, and she is not alone. Gabriel De Paz is the co-founder of First Stays, which helps landlords find qualified tenants. He says even though he’s seen rental incentives of up to 20%, he thinks it’s temporary.

“I think in the future the price will be even higher than before due to massive immigration to Canada,” he said.

While Danison says it’s still too early to say whether all of the incentives are the result of a structural change where people no longer need or want to be in crowded cities, Assaad believes the city center will soon regain its former glory.

“Now that the weather is improving and the retail stores are open downtown and downtown, we are seeing a lot more action even in the downtown condo market,” she said. declared.

“The market continues to change from month to month.”

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