Recent figures from The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reveal an important message concerning the argument favoured for years by our Association to the effect that the free market would be a good part of the solution towards higher vacancy rates in housing at a time when these rates are constantly rising in many Quebec cities, especially in Montreal.
Vacancy rates have reached 2,9 % in October 2007 in the Montreal metropolitan region while a constant upward progression has been noticed in the last few years. Even organizations representing tenants, such as FRAPRU (Popular Action Front for Urban Planning) agree when they notice that tenants are becoming blunter when it comes to choosing a dwelling.
We still believe that present regulations at the private residential dwelling level are much too intrusive and, if we continue to favour the free market which allowed landlords to adjust their rents in order to manage them carefully, that would be to the advantage, not only of the landlords themselves, but also of all the tenants.
The free market which would, after all, allow for higher rents whereas everyone knows that housing in Montreal is admittedly amongst the most accessible of all the other big cities in the country (according to the latest figures released by the CMHC), would in fact positively influence major and minor housing renovations. This consequence would of course reach tenants with access to more interesting dwellings.
For years governments have seemed to be unwilling to legislate in the housing sector in Quebec and this inertia has provoked an ever growing deterioration of the present residential real estate pool. Even if we would put unhealthy dwellings in a class apart, the fact remains that housing in Quebec, although it is mostly private in its nature, should be of special concern to our elected representatives. This is all the more urgent when one realizes that, in the last five years, housing in Quebec has been in need for renovation at rates passing from 30% to 35% according to data from the CMHC. This is very worrisome!
Something entirely different now: please take the time to analyze your rent adjustments well for the coming year. The APQ is always ready with advice in this domain. Have a Good and Prosperous Year 2008! We especially wish you and your loved ones Good Health.