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'Moving Day' Energizes Montreal and Impacts the Airbnb Market

Some families prefer staying temporarily in tourist accommodation to change their address at their own pace.

03/07/2024 - Montreal buzzes with activity during the first week of July as the city experiences a surge in residential moves that span several days. Visitors, especially, witness the curious sight of furniture on sidewalks and moving trucks everywhere. In the peak of summer, with a significant influx of tourists, these residential changes also influence the Airbnb market, leading to a spike in last-minute bookings.

Known as Moving Day, this annual phenomenon sees up to 70,000 people relocating within Montreal. Many tenants in transition seek temporary accommodations, opting for Airbnbs until all their belongings are settled in their new homes.

Is this tradition ending?

Click here to read on CTV News about why fewer people are moving on Moving Day each year.

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One factor contributing to this trend of families renting transition stays is the relatively affordable cost of an Airbnb in Montreal. The average price of an entire unit for four people is $248 per night, compared to $284 in Toronto and $280 in Vancouver, according to AirDNA.

Despite the high visibility of Airbnbs during this period, they represent only a small fraction of Montreal's total rental housing. According to Statistics Canada, the city has over 1.7 million housing units, of which 44% are rented. This equates to over 760,000 rental homes, with only 5,900 active listings on Airbnb, representing about 0.77% of the total rental units.

The percentage of the population moving residences has decreased, according to the Quebec Statistics Institute (ISQ). This suggests that more people are staying longer in the same residence to avoid rent increases that occur when moving to a new property under a new lease.

For property owners with temporarily vacant units, it is essential to find new tenants quickly. If rental prices are outdated, this may be an opportunity to reassess and adjust rental rates. The short-term rental market tends to stabilize quickly, following the trend of tourist movement, as most people move into their new homes immediately after the move.