Photo: CDPQ Infra

The Montreal real estate market is set to have a banner year in 2018 — and a new transit announcement could mean that things are about to get even hotter.

Last week, CDPQ Infra announced what is set to be the largest new public transportation network built in Montreal in the last 50 years: the Reseau express metropolitain, or REM.

Set to start construction in April and welcome riders in the summer of 2021, the REM is a regional light rail project which will consist of 26 stations across a 40-mile electrified network. It’s set to be the fourth largest automated light rail project in the world.

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So what does the project mean for Montreal’s real estate market? Only good things, according to Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards market analysis department manager Paul Cardinal.

“The impact of being close to a subway station is huge, when it comes to the value of a property,” Cardinal tells BuzzBuzzNews.

According to a study conducted by QFREB in 2016, being 1,500 meters or less away from a subway station boosts the sale price of a single-family home a whopping 38.9 per cent, while the price of a condo jumps 19.1 per cent.

“When you look at numbers like those, and you think about the size of the REM, it’s pretty easy to see that it’s going to have a significant impact on the value of Montreal real estate,” says Cardinal.

As for new construction in the area? While Cardinal doesn’t have hard numbers, he predicts that commercial and residential construction projects will likely spring up by the new transit stations.

“I do think that we’re going to see move projects in development, in proximity to the REM and its stops,” he says.

The news comes after economists and industry watchers have been calling Montreal a market to watch for months.

“Residential sales in 2018 will increase more significantly in the Montreal metropolitan area,” reads a recent report from QFREB. “In 2018 we expect the increase to be in the order of 5 per cent.”

Meanwhile, the average price of a home is expected to jump 5 per cent to $332,000 for a single-family home and 3 per cent to $255,000 for a condo.

The city also has claim to the title of fastest rising rent in Canada, as the average rent for a one-bedroom jumped 15.9 per cent year-over-year to $1,310 in January.

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