The most promising ‘hotspot’ in years emerges

One neighbourhood in the City of Saints is being hailed as a hotspot for investors as infrastructure development and condo construction fuel renter interest.

“There’s a large post-secondary institution that provides a pool of renters who are OK with studio condos, it is walking distance to all the major attractions – Old Montreal, Sainte-Catherine St, the Bell Centre, Atwater Market, Lachine Canal, etc.,” said Brad Cartier, a real estate investor in the neighbourhood.

“The condo prices are still relatively reasonable compared to other markets in the Montreal area. With Griffintown, you get downtown living for a much lower cost. I believe that those who invest now in Griffintown will be nicely placed five years from now. This is why I am investing in the area. In terms of ROI, it’s one of the best areas I’ve been as a real estate investor.”

A Market in Absorption Phase, a report published this week by Altus Group, shows that the sales volume in the area is 20 per cent higher than it was during the same period last year, and sales have exceeded the number of units added to the market.

The report follows a recent investment from the City of Montreal that would see the local government provide $600,000 over the next three years to grow the technology sector, while the province is kicking in $200,000. 

The investment displays the level of both private and public investment being funneled into revitalizing the area. It’s part of a plan to create a job base while accounting for population growth and immigration.

As a result, Griffintown is being seen as the next hub for urban planning, arts programs and other creative businesses that will draw people and investors to what used to be an industrial area.

The Altus Group showed that first quarter activity in Griffintown included 2,275 new condos under construction, which are 73 per cent sold.

The average price for a new condo in Griffintown is $450 a square foot (including all taxes), compared to $550 near the Bell Centre and $520 in Old Montreal.

The average size for a condo in the neighbourhood is 856 square feet, only a bit smaller than the median size in the downtown west or Old Montreal areas, while the rate of condos bought for investment is about 20 per cent, aligned with the average of downtown Montreal. Land is the neighbourhood priced at about $300 per square foot.

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