Canada’s landlords are now asking a record-breaking average of $2,117 per month, according to a new report compiled by a Canadian rental listings website.
According to Rentals.ca, the Canadian market reached a new record when it comes to what new tenants are asked to pay per month, with data suggesting a monthly increase of 1.8 per cent in August, and an annual surge of 9.6 per cent.
Amidst the backdrop of high interest rates and soaring expenses impacting property owners and overall cost of living, the rental market continues its upward trajectory, those behind the report said.
In July, the market saw a 1.8 per cent increase in the average asking rent, pushing it to an average of $2,078 for the month. The metric, which is based on new listings, not what existing tenants are paying per month, underscores the ongoing challenges faced by renters in Canada.
Rentals.ca’s recent report, indicates that while the annual inflation rate for asking rents in August was actually lower than the 12.0 per cent increase recorded in August 2022, this rate still reached a four-month high last month.
According to the report, from May to August, asking rents have experienced a 5.1 per cent increase, resulting in an average of $103 extra per month.
Despite a surge in rental apartment construction in Canada over the past year, the highest since the 1970s according to Rentals.ca, rent prices have stayed strong, the report shows. Those behind it say this is due to record population growth and declining affordability for homeownership, both of which mean more people are looking for rental units.
When it comes to rental types, studios experienced the most rapid month-over-month rent increase, rising by 2.4 per cent to an average across Canada of $1,480. Meanwhile, one-bedroom units saw the highest year-over-year growth in asking rents, surging by 14.8 per cent to an average of $1,880 per month.
Two-bedroom asking rents averaged $2,233, marking a 12.3 per cent year-over-year increase, while three-bedroom asking rents averaged $2,448, with a 10.6 per cent year-over-year growth.
Asking rents for purpose-built and condominium apartments averaged a record high of $2,046 in August, increasing 1.9 per cent month-over-month and 12.8 per cent year-over-year.
ALBERTA MAINTAINS TOP SPOT FOR RENT GROWTH
Breaking down the data by region, Alberta maintained its position as the provincial leader in annual rent growth for purpose-built and condominium apartments for the fourth consecutive month, Rentals.ca said.
The average asking rent in Alberta rose 15.6 per cent year-over-year, now standing at $1,634. Alberta rent also grew the fastest of all the provinces month-over-month, at 3.5 per cent in August.
Following Alberta, Quebec maintained the second-highest annual rent growth in the country, at 14.2 per cent, for the third consecutive month. The average asking rent for purpose-built and condominium apartments in Quebec reached $1,932.
In August, B.C. witnessed a significant annual rent growth of 10.8 per cent, up from its 9.8 per cent pace in July. Average asking rent in B.C. has now reached $2,675, meaning new renters are asked to pay an average of $1,041 more on the West Coast than in Alberta.
The average asking rent in Ontario stood at $2,496 in August, reflecting an annual increase of 9.9 per cent, which was slightly higher than the 9.0 per cent annual growth observed in July.
Meanwhile, Manitoba and Saskatchewan experienced the slowest rent increases over the past year, with annual growth rates of 8.3 per cent and 2.7 per cent, respectively. This led to average rents of $1,457 in Manitoba and $1,102 in Saskatchewan.
CALGARY LEADS RENT GROWTH IN LARGE CANADIAN CITIES
Among Canada’s largest cities, Calgary maintained its position as the leader in rent growth, with a year-over-year increase of 17.23 per cent in August. The average rent for purpose-built and condominium apartments in Calgary reached $2,068.
Montreal followed closely with an annual growth rate of 16.4 per cent, and asking rents surpassed the $2,000 mark for the first time, reaching $2,001.
In Canada’s priciest cities, Toronto and Vancouver, annual rent increases were below the national average at 8.7 per cent and 7.3 per cent, respectively. This led to average monthly costs of $2,898 in Toronto and $3,316 in Vancouver. Surprisingly, Vancouver experienced a 0.7 per cent decrease in average rents on a monthly basis.
According to the Rentals.ca report, Canada’s largest cities witnessed the strongest month-over-month rent growth in Ottawa, with a 4.5 per cent increase, and Edmonton, with a 4.1 per cent increase.
The average asking rents in these cities were $2,226 in Ottawa and $1,438 in Edmonton, respectively.
When it comes to mid-sized markets, the report shows that some of the country’s most expensive mid-sized markets had among the fastest rising rents during August.
Richmond, B.C., led the way with the highest annual growth in average asking rent, surging 28.1 per cent. This increase brought the average rate to $3,120, making it the third highest among Canada’s mid-sized markets.
Oakville, Ont., recorded a 23.1 per cent annual rent increase, reaching $3,007, ranking it as the fourth highest in Canada.
Meanwhile, Burnaby, B.C., saw rent increase by an average of 21.1 per cent year-over-year to $3,152, making it the second highest in the country. North Vancouver, B.C., had the highest average asking rent among Canada’s mid-sized markets at $3,541, with an annual increase of 17.0 per cent.
SHARED ACCOMMODATION RENT SOARS
According to the rentals report, shared accommodations experienced significant rent increases in August. For instance, there was a 24 per cent year-over-year increase in average asking rents for shared units in Quebec, a 20.5 per cent increase in Alberta, a 17.7 per cent increase in B.C., and a 7.5 per cent increase in Ontario.
The highest average asking rent for roommate rentals in Canada was in Vancouver, at $1,773 per month, followed by Toronto with an average of $1,302.
Reporting for this story was paid for through The Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta.