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Inflation, interest rates may shift homeowners to rentals in Canada’s large cities, Hamilton: analysts

Rentals.ca say Canada's average monthly rental rate increased nine per cent annually to $1,821 per month for all property types. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The latest monthly rental data from a pair of Canadian-based agencies suggests continuing inflation and increasing interest rates will drive some looking for a place to live from the prospect of ownership to the rental market.

Both Rentals.ca and Zumper.com, which aggregate data from vacant rental units, say the upward trend in cost across Canada’s largest cities continues amid a cooling of the housing market in some provinces.

“As central banks across the globe fight inflation by increasing interest rates, some demand will shift from the ownership market to the rental market,” says Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting.

Read more: Pilot project uses secondary students to bring vacant, affordable Hamilton rentals back online

“Sky-high gas prices may also boost demand for transit-friendly and walkable urban locations – the same properties hit hard during the pandemic when the benefits of dense neighborhoods close to downtown offices, restaurants and entertainment became less valuable.”

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The average monthly asking rent for all types of Canadian properties on Rentals.ca in April 2022 was $1,821 per month, an increase of nine per cent annually.

British Columbia and Ontario continued to have the most expensive rental rates as of the end of April at $2,200 and $2,000, respectively, per month, according to the National Rent Report, published by Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research.

Median rents are shown by province for all property types in April 2022. The average rent and change in average rent on a monthly basis are also shown. rentals.ca

Zumper says Quebec held the greatest rent price growth rate year over year, up 28 per cent, while Barrie, Ont., was the only city with rent on the decline, falling 2.9 per cent.

Year over year, Vancouver had the largest increase in average rent, 25 per cent, to $2,748 per month, with Toronto and Etobicoke up 15 per cent and Calgary 13 per cent annually, according to rentals.ca data.

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In Hamilton, the two analysts estimate you’ll have to fork over $1,530 a month for a one-bedroom rental, with Rentals’ average at $1,557 and Zumper’s Canadian Rent Report putting the price at $1,500.

Both reported increases of just over $30 a month in Hamilton’s single-bedroom rentals month over month.

Read more: Here’s what it takes to buy a home in Canada’s ‘soul-crushing’ housing market

As of the end of April, Rentals.ca put Hamilton 19th on its list of 35 cities in terms of the highest one-bedroom average monthly rent. The city was nine of 23 on Zumper’s list.

Two-bedrooms in the Hammer will run you somewhere around $1,950, with the rental firms’ averages at $1,985 and $1,900, respectively.

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Year-over-year increases were $262 a month, according to Rentals.ca, and about $140 by Zumper’s estimates.

St. Catharines is seeing similar year-over-year increases, with a one-bedroom now somewhere around $1,430 per month and a two-bedroom at $1,800.

A one-bedroom suite in Toronto is averaging around $2,027, while two beds will run a renter around $2,700 per month.

 

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