Monthly average rents in Canada up 3.7%, the largest increase in 3 years: National Rent Report

Average rent for all Canadian property types listed on Rentals.ca increased 3.7 per cent from April to May, the largest monthly increase since May 2019, according to the Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting latest National Rent Report.

Rents continue to rise as the market moves back to pre-COVID-19 highs of 2019. Average rent for all Canadian rentals rose 10.5 per cent year over year in May. 

Uncertainty in the ownership housing market, and the delay in delivering new supply because of supply-chain delays and labour stoppages should continue to put upward pressure on rents into the fall of this year in the face of increased demand.

Vancouver once again tops the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent. In May, average monthly rent in the city for a one-bedroom home was $2,377, and average monthly rent for a two-bedroom was $3,495.  

Year over year, average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom in Vancouver was up 19.9 per cent and up 24.1 per cent for a two-bedroom. Month over month, average rent in Vancouver was up 1.8 per cent for a one-bedroom and up 5.1 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Toronto finished second on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom at $2,133 and for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $3,002. 

Year over year, average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom in Toronto was up 15.7 per cent and up 21.5 per cent for a two-bedroom. Month over month, average rent in Toronto was up 3.3 per cent for a one-bedroom and up 5.4 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Montreal came in 22nd for average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom home at $1,538 and 20th for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $2,012. 

Year over year, average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom in Montreal was up 4.2 per cent and up 2.7 per cent for a two-bedroom. Month over month, average rent in Montreal was up 3.3 per cent for a one-bedroom and up 3.1 per cent for a two-bedroom.

The average rent for condominium rentals and apartments in Vancouver in May was $2,850 per month, an increase of 23 per cent annually. Vancouver rents were down 5 per cent annually one year ago, but up 6 per cent in May of 2020 in the early months of the pandemic. 

Toronto rents were up 19 per cent to $2,418 per month in May, following a decline of 11 per cent annually in May 2021 and 6 per cent annually in May 2020. 

Kitchener and London saw huge rent increases for condo rentals and apartments year over year with average rent in May up 26 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. Both of these markets increased in both 2021 and 2020, during the worst of the pandemic, likely benefitting from graduating students staying in the area instead of moving elsewhere for their first jobs, and residents moving to those less expensive markets from more expensive GTA municipalities in the new work-from-home environment. 

Hamilton average rents rose 10 per cent year over year to $1,835 for condo rentals and apartments; Ottawas average rents were up 2.7 per cent to $1,814; Montreal rents increased 5.7 per cent annually to $1,748; Calgary average rents for condo rentals and apartments rose 20 per cent year over year to $1,652; Winnipeg average rents were up 0.4 per cent to $1,351; Edmonton rents were up 6.7 per cent annually to $1,179 and Saskatoon average rents for condo rentals and apartments increased 5.6 per cent to $1,062. 

“After relatively flat rents on average in Canada during the first four months of the year, rents rose sharply in May, as interest rate hikes dissuaded would-be buyers from leaving the rental market,” said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting. “The typical seasonal increase in demand in the spring, coupled with renewed interest in more expensive downtown properties in Vancouver and Toronto also contributed to the rise in rents nationally.”

Vancouver has averaged the highest rent for all property types so far this year at $2,909 on a list of 20 Canadian cities and areas. 

The next seven highest are in the Greater Toronto Area: Richmond Hill at $2,645; Toronto at $2,365; Etobicoke at $2,213; Mississauga at $2,180; North York at $2,047; York at $2,044 and Brampton at $2,032. 

The next five cities are all in Ontario: Hamilton, Ottawa, Kitchener, Scarborough and London. Montreal and Gatineau follow, and the five final cities are in the Prairie Provinces: Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina. 

Toronto’s average monthly rent for all property types in May hit $2,474, an annual increase of 20 per cent. Etobicoke, Mississauga, and North York all experienced similar levels of growth at 17 per cent, 17 per cent and 14 percent respectively. Scarborough average rents have been relatively flat, increasing 3 per cent year over year. 

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