Average rents in Canada up 1.8% monthly: National Rent Report

The average rent in October for all property types in Canada was up 1.6 per cent year over year to $1,800, the first annual percentage increase this year, according to Rentals.ca’s and Bullpen Research & Consulting’s latest National Rent Report.

The average rental rate is up $31 or 1.8 per cent over last month, and up $125 or 7 per cent over the April low of $1,675.

According to the report, rental rates across Canada are rising after “a tumultuous 2020,” posting steady increases over the past several months. However, asking rent for all Canadian properties listed on Rentals.ca is still $154 lower than the $1,954 monthly average in September 2019. 

“The rental market continues to see increased demand and higher rent levels as the country returns to normalcy from the pandemic,” said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting. “Most of Canada’s major cities experienced rent declines of 5 per cent to over 15 per cent at this time last year, but most of those markets are now up 2 per cent to 5 per cent since then, so still well below 2019’s market peaks. The domestic market could exceed those peaks in 2022 with continued strong growth expected.”

Vancouver topped the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in October for a one-bedroom home at $2,216 and for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $3,057.  

Year over year, average monthly rent in October for a one-bedroom in Vancouver was up 16.6 per cent and up 12.7 per cent for a two-bedroom. Month over month, average rent in Vancouver was up 2.8 per cent for a one-bedroom and up 4.3 per cent for a two-bedroom. 

Toronto finished second on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in October for a one-bedroom at $2,006 and for a two-bedroom at $2,678. 

Year over year, average monthly rent in October for a one-bedroom in Toronto was up 4.3 per cent and up 5.2 per cent for a two-bedroom. Month over month, average rent in Toronto was up 3.5 per cent for a one-bedroom and up 1.9 per cent for a two-bedroom. 

Montreal came in 22nd for average monthly rent in October for a one-bedroom home at $1,508 and 17th for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $1,920. 

Year over year, average monthly rent in October for a one-bedroom in Montreal was up 2.3 per cent and up 2 per cent for a two-bedroom. Month over month, average rents in Montreal in October were up slightly by 0.1 per cent for both a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom.  

Kitchener experienced the largest annual increase in average rent for all property types at 15 per cent in October, followed by Vancouver at 11 per cent, Winnipeg at 5 per cent, Toronto at 4 per cent, and Calgary and Ottawa at 3 per cent.

The average annual rent in Kitchener also increased in October 2020 by 14 per cent. All other cities and areas on the chart had an annual decrease in rent in October 2020, except Calgary which was unchanged. The biggest declines were in Toronto, -17 per cent; Etobicoke, -15 per cent; Winnipeg, -14 per cent; Mississauga and North York, -13 per cent; York, -12 per cent and Ottawa, -10 per cent. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kitchener has become a desirable place to live for renters, who continue to look for more affordable options for larger units outside downtown centres such as Toronto, according to the report.

Average rents for one- and two-bedroom condo rentals and apartments have slowly increased year over year through October for a number of cities and areas after being down the same month a year ago. 

Vancouver rents were up 15 per cent for a one-bedroom and 13 per cent for a two-bedroom in October after being down 3 per cent and 6 per cent respectively in October 2020. Likewise in Toronto, average rents were up 5 per cent in October for both a one- and two-bedroom condo rental and apartment, after being down in October 2020 by 17 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. 

London was the only city of the 12 with an increase in average rents in October 2020 for both a one-bedroom (up 3 per cent) and a two-bedroom (up 24 per cent). Rents for both were also up this October by 11 per cent and 1 per cent respectively. 

Average rents in North York and Scarborough for both one- and two-bedroom condo rentals and apartments were down annually in both October of this year and last year. 

A tenant paid on average about $260 more in rent in October to go from a studio to a one-bedroom unit. A tenant looking to upgrade from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom unit spent about $320 more on average.

A third bedroom cost a tenant about $380 more, and a fourth bedroom cost $640 more in October. Beside an extra bedroom, they’re likely gaining some outdoor property and more parking (also more convenient parking closer to their unit). Adding a fifth bedroom cost a tenant another $390 on average per month. 

Compared to the last three Octobers, studios, three-bedroom, four-bedroom and five-bedroom suites are all highest in 2021. One-bedroom suites are at their lowest point over the four-year period, while two-bedroom units at $1,891 per month, are higher than 2018’s $1,813 per month average, but below 2019’s $2,033 per month average.

 

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