A new nationwide study that tracks home rental prices across 36 cities in Canada says Hamilton had the dubious honour of having the largest spike in cost for an apartment year over year.
In 2018, the average rent for an apartment or condo in the city was about $1,170 per month. A year later, that same suite will now cost about $1,545 per month — a 24 per cent increase year over year, according to the National Rent Report.
Overall rent in Hamilton for all types of properties, including houses, is about $1,630.
“Anything around the GTA is going up as people see what they can get in GTA versus what they can get in some of these other cities,” Matt Danison, CEO of Rentals.ca, told Global News.
“There has been a noticeable decline in the number of affordable properties for rent in Ontario over the past year, and areas that have typically provided less expensive rental accommodations such as Hamilton and Scarborough are experiencing the highest rent growth.”
Danison says the research shows that Hamilton’s rent increases are simply the result of employment opportunities in Toronto.
“There’s a lot of jobs in Toronto,” Danison said. “So, across Ontario, Toronto has an effect all the way.
“It’s just kind of like this rental increase blob that’s taking over Ontario.”
The analysis — compiled by rentals.ca and Bullpen Research and Consulting — suggests the increase is on par with much of Ontario, which accounted for 12 of the top 16 highest rents in Canada.
The average monthly price in Canada for rental apartments only was $1,574 per month in October, up 7.7 per cent from the same month in 2018: $1,461.
Rent for all types of properties in Canada, including houses, was $1,940 per month, an increase of 5.5 per cent annually, according to the report.
Toronto edged up slightly to $2,320 to remain the priciest city for renters of a one-bedroom home, while Vancouver had the highest rents for a two-bedroom at $2,949.
Those numbers put average rents up in Ontario and British Columbia, resulting in tight rental markets in terms of supply. This was particularly the case in Ontario, where new apartment constructions (rental and condominiums) dropped in 2019 to the province’s lowest level in the first nine months of the year since 2014, according to the National Rent Report.
Meanwhile, Alberta and Saskatchewan saw rents fall in 2019, as its two major cities, Calgary and Edmonton, saw rents drop on average five per cent and two per cent, respectively
The rest of the country generally remained stable.