Annual average rents rise 9.7% in Canada: National Rent Report

The average asking rent for all property types in Canada rose 9.7 per cent year over year in February, to $1,984, according to the Rentals.ca  and Urbanation latest National Rent Report.

This is the first time since June that average rents have not increased by double digits.The annual rate of rent inflation has been moderating since reaching a high of 12.4 per cent in November. Rents decreased 0.6 per cent from January and have declined 2 per cent over the past three months.

(The Rentals.ca Network numbers show only vacated properties that reflect the actual rents a potential tenant would encounter when seeking to rent a home. The numbers do not account for occupied units.)

“The rental market experienced a pullback over the past three months following record-breaking rent growth in 2022,” said Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation. “The recent slowing can be related to high rental costs impacting affordability and an increase in new supply from apartment completions. However, several key markets experiencing high demand continued to see rents trend higher last month.”

Vancouver once again tops the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent. In February, average monthly rent in the city for a one-bedroom home was $2,640, and average monthly rent for a two-bedroom was $3,632.  

Year over year, average monthly rent in February for a one-bedroom in Vancouver was up 15.3 per cent and up 22.5 per cent for a two-bedroom. Month over month, average rent was down in Vancouver in February for a one-bedroom home by 3.3 per cent but up 0.2 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Toronto finished second on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in February for a one-bedroom at $2,501 and second for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $3,314. 

Year over year, average monthly rent in February for a one-bedroom in Toronto was up 21.5 per cent and up 19.4 per cent for a two-bedroom. 

Montreal  came in 25th for average monthly rent in February for a one-bedroom home at $1,623 and 20th for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $2,139. 

Year over year, average monthly rent in Montreal in February for a one-bedroom was up 7.1 per cent and up 7.9 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Calgary had the fastest increasing rents among Canada’s largest cities in February for condominium rentals and apartments. Average rents in Calgary rose 28.1 per cent annually and 3.8 per cent over the past three months to $1,862. But Calgary rents remained below the national average, with one-bedrooms at $1,652, two-bedrooms at $2,035, and three-bedrooms at $2,370. 

Toronto had the second fastest annual rent growth of 22.8% in February for condominium rentals and apartments, despite a 0.9 per cent three-month decline, at $2,838. Average rents in Toronto were well above the national average, with one-bedrooms averaging $2,513, two-bedrooms averaging $3,324, and three-bedrooms averaging $3,843. 

Vancouver, which continues to be the most expensive of Canada’s largest markets, saw average rents increase 19 per cent annually for condo rentals and apartments to $3,120 in February. Rents in Vancouver averaged $2,657 for one-bedrooms, $3,716 for two-bedrooms, and $4,317 for three-bedrooms.  

Average rents in Ottawa, Edmonton and Montreal increased 13.5 per cent, 8.6 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively in February for condo rentals and apartments. 

The seven fastest growing medium-sized markets for purpose-built and condominium rents in February were all in southwestern Ontario: Brampton, up 30.1 per cent; Kitchener, up 28.2 per cent; Scarborough, up 28.1 per cent; North York, up 26.5 per cent; London, up 23.1 per cent;  Hamilton, up 22 per cent and Mississauga, up 18.9 per cent. 

In medium-sized cities, average rents for purpose-built and condominium apartments were highest in February in cities in Metro Vancouver — including Burnaby ($2,902), Coquitlam ($2,726) and Richmond ($2,545) — and cities and areas in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) — including Oakville ($2,579), Vaughan ($2,579), and Etobicoke ($2,546). The 12 most expensive mid-sized rental markets in February were all in  Metro Vancouver and the GTA. 

Ontario led the country with a 16.2 per cent increase in rent year over year in February for purpose-built and condominium apartments, followed by Alberta and British Columbia where annual rents rose 14.5 per cent and 11.4 per cent, respectively. 

Over the past three months, rents increased the most in Quebec, up 2.9 per cent and Ontario, up 1 per cent, while all other provinces recorded three-month rent declines for purpose-built and condominium apartments.

Rents for purpose-built and condominium apartments remained highest in British Columbia during February at an average of $2,449, with one-bedrooms going for $2,076, two-bedrooms at $2,802 and three-bedrooms at $3,233. 

Ontario rents followed close behind at an average of $2,407, while the third highest rents trailed far behind in Quebec at an average of $1,808. 

Although Alberta rents have been increasing over the past year, they remain comparatively low at an average of $1,424, with one-bedrooms averaging $1,272, two-bedrooms averaging $1,587, and three-bedrooms averaging $1,655. Alberta has seen the highest levels of interprovincial migration in Canada.

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