Montreal Retail Market Report
After a Demand-Driven Recovery, Headwinds Will
Delay a Full Return to Normal
Strong demand aiding sector recovery. Retail sales in Montreal were robust throughout the summer months, with an 8.0 per cent year-over-year increase in the second quarter of 2022. This coincided with a rise in foot traffic, mostly stemming from the return of tourism, as plane traffic increased by sevenfold year-over-year in the second quarter. Furthermore, the province of Québec expects more than 70,000 new residents in 2022, a 40 per cent increase from last year. The region also saw positive inter-provincial migration from Ontario, which has not happened in decades. The expansion of the local population base, and in turn demand for goods and services, is reviving consumer spending and helping the retail sector. This is driving down the vacancy rate to a multiyear low, causing an upward movement in the average asking rent. In addition, most universities ended pandemic-related restrictions and underwent a full return to in-person learning. This is again resulting in increased foot traffic, particularly in downtown Montreal, causing an uptick in consumer spending.