New survey maps the “challenges, preferences, and aspirations of renters across Canada”

Findings from a survey by Rentals.ca put a spotlight on the challenges, preferences, and aspirations of renters across the country.

Left Facing For Rent Real Estate Sign In Front of House.

A survey by Rentals.ca aims to gauge the pulse of the Canadian rental market and spans many topics, from the length of time potential renters spend searching for their next home to their satisfaction with landlords and the overall rental experience.

More than 600 prospective renters were surveyed across Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, and the findings shed light on the challenges, preferences, and aspirations of renters across Canada.

“Hearing directly from renters is paramount in understanding the perception of the Canadian rental landscape,” said David Aizikov, senior data analyst at Rentals.ca. “These findings empower renters and landlords alike with the knowledge to make informed decisions, shaping a more dynamic and data-driven rental industry.”

Participants of the survey were asked the duration of their rental search. First-time renters made up 26 per cent of survey participants, which highlights a substantial portion of the market navigating the rental process for the first time. The data revealed that 34 per cent of people have been looking for a place for at least two months, with 15 per cent looking for more than six months.

With supply issues affecting Ontario and British Columbia the most, Rentals.ca noted that this search time suggests a highly competitive market. Alberta also continues to experience high levels of interprovincial migration adding to the increase in demand for the province.

Amongst the population of prospective renters, the survey found that 49 per cent had last moved within the past three years, with 26 per cent having moved within the last year alone.

In the face of escalating inflation and affordability challenges, the survey noted that residents in rent-controlled markets are inclined to remain in their current accommodations, benefiting from minimal rental hikes.

The survey also found that 69 per cent of respondents highlighted the unaffordability of rentals in their region as their reason for moving, with 19 per cent of survey participants indicating their interest in moving to a new city for their next home.

A total of 63 per cent emphasized price as their primary concern when searching for a new dwelling, while only 37 per cent prioritized location, according to the survey. Rentals.ca noted that this shift underscores a clear preference for affordability over accessibility, as pricing remains the dominant factor influencing renter decisions.

The survey revealed that the shortage of affordable units remains a concern for renters, with 55 per cent of respondents expressing frustration over the limited availability within their budget range when searching for rental accommodations.

Despite this challenge, however, more than 60 per cent of respondents reported satisfaction with the quality of rental properties they have encountered.

Rentals.ca noted that there is a clear demand for expanded options, particularly within a price range that aligns with their desired lifestyle in their preferred location.

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