The Greater Montreal is the second largest economic market in Canada with a population over 3.7 million. As of February 2008, the Montreal CMA unemployment rate stood at 7.7%, near its lowest level in more than 40 years. For the past two years, the average annual growth rate of employment in the Montreal CMA has been over 2.0%
The economy of greater Montreal, with its heavy concentration of high tech services and advanced manufacturing, leads the province in employment growth, Manufacturing accounts of 20% of total output while the services sector accounts for approximately 73% of total output, Finance, Insurance and real estate (“FIRE”) accounts for 21% of Montréal economy. The service and FIRE sectors are expected to continue to see steady growth and result in positive job creation well the future, translating into increasing demand for office space and an improvement in rental rates as vacancy decreases and provides landlords with the opportunity to increase rental rates. Total service output is forecast to increase by 2.9% in 2008 and 2009.
Montreal Economic Overview
Downtown Montreal Office Market.
The downtown Montreal office market comprises 48.5 million square feet of space. Supported by strong fundamentals, absorptions since January 2007 totaled approximately 1.5 million square feet. As a result, the occupancy rate has improved and now stands at 91.4% owerall and 95.8 for class A office buildings. Vacancy rates of about 5.0% to 7.5% should prevail for class A space. The amount of overall vacant or available area has been on a downward trend since 2003