The average rent in Canada increased for the third month in a row, rising to $1,752 in July, up 1.8 per cent month over month, according to Rentals.ca’s and Bullpen Research & Consulting’s latest National Rent Report.
The average asking rent for all Canadian properties listed on Rentals.ca was down 1.1 per cent year-over-year in July but has trended upward over the last few months: In April average annual rents were down nine per cent; in May they were down 5.7 per cent and in June average rents in Canada were down 2.7 per cent annually.
The market peaked in September 2019 at $1,954, before falling 14.3 per cent to a low of $1,675 in April 2021, says the report. The average rental rate has since increased by 4.6 per cent, erasing some of the pandemic-related declines, but average monthly rents are still $200 cheaper than in September 2019.
As the country continues back to normalcy, average rents for two-bedroom condominium and rental apartments are increasing at a faster rate than one-bedroom suites. Tenants continue to show a preference for larger units with many employees expecting to work from home at least part of the time moving forward, says Rentals.ca.
Average rent for single-family homes continues to increase in the new work-from-home era, up 13.8 per cent in July to $2,666. This data is volatile on a monthly basis due to the wide range of single-family home offerings and changing composition of listings on Rentals.ca month over month, the company says.
In 2021, average monthly rent for condo rentals has changed from being down 19.2 per cent year-over-year in January to down 8.1 per cent in July to $2,008. Much of this increase can be attributed to a rise in activity in downtown Toronto and Vancouver, says the report.
Apartments, which make up the majority of the listings on Rentals.ca, experienced a year-over-year increase of 1.3 per cent to $1,623 per month in July.
“As employees get called back to the office, and colleges and universities announce their reopening plans, demand has increased significantly in central locations, especially in Toronto and Vancouver where bidding wars are being reported again for rental properties,” says Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting. “The luxury rental market is returning, pulling average rental rates up with it.”
Toronto finished second on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in July for a one-bedroom home at $1,855 and for a two-bedroom at $2,606.
Most of the major municipalities in Canada are still cheaper for renters than one year ago in July when looking at condo and rental apartments.
In Toronto’s former municipalities, York declined the most by 15 per cent, and North York was down by eight per cent. Etobicoke and Scarborough average rents for apartments and condo rentals were both down six per cent year-over-year. Mississauga’s average rents were down five per cent annually and Toronto down four per cent. Also down were Ottawa, down three per cent; Edmonton, down three per cent and Montreal, down two per cent.
Vancouver had the largest annual increase in average rental rates for apartments and condo rentals, up 19 per cent in July, while Calgary and Winnipeg both experienced an annual increase in average rents of 14 per cent in July.
In July 2020, with the exception of Montreal and Scarborough, most of the major cities experienced annual rent declines for apartments and condo rentals in the middle of the pandemic, says the report.
Larger and more centrally located luxury units in Toronto are increasing in demand and price at a faster rate than smaller, more affordable units. Real estate agents are again reporting bidding wars for downtown condo rental properties in Toronto.
Units in the lower-priced 10th percentile have stayed at $1,450 in 2021, while units in the 25th percentile have moved from $1,625 to $1,675, an increase of 3.1 per cent.