Rent prices are through the roof across Canada as decades-high inflation has increased the cost of living in the country.
The national average rent last month was $2,005 – an increase of more than 12 per cent compared with December 2021, according to Rentals.ca’s January 2023 Rent Report.
Vancouver remains the most expensive city to rent in Canada, with the average price of a one-bedroom unit at $2,596 per month.
Toronto is in second place at $2,457 for a one-bedroom followed by Burnaby, B.C. ($2,450), the Etobicoke area of Toronto ($2,172) and Mississauga, Ont. ($2,145), based on a list of 35 Canadian cities.
In Halifax which came in 10th position, a one-bedroom unit is priced at an average of $1,987.
The cheapest cities in which to rent on that list were all in Alberta, with a one-bedroom going for $840 in Lloydminster, Alta., which ranked at the bottom.
Nationally, the average rental for a one-bedroom rose by 7.9 per cent in December 2022 to reach $1,681, but two-bedroom rentals had the biggest jump of 9.4 per cent from the year before to $2,044.
The year-over-year overall average rent increase for all types of apartment and condo listings was highest in Kitchener, Ont., and Halifax, which saw a 31 per cent jump in December 2022.
London, Ont., residents saw a 30 per cent rent spike compared with a year ago and in Scarborough rentals were up 25 per cent.
The “exceptional growth” in rents last year can be attributed to COVID-19 pandemic recovery, record-high population growth, a large pullback in home buying and low vacancy rates, the national rent report said.
This is the second straight month that the average monthly rent has exceeded $2,000 in Canada, which is facing a housing crunch with a shortage of both homes and construction workers to build new units.
In November 2022, the average monthly cost to rent a home in Canada rose to a record-high $2,024.
Real estate experts forecast this trend could continue in the coming months as more people are deciding to rent rather than buy property.
“Rents are up significantly over last year,” said John Pasalis, president and broker of Realosophy Realty in Toronto.
“Our population is booming and we’re not really building much in terms of houses and in rental buildings. And this is a big driver of why rents have been surging.”
According to Rental.ca’s market outlook, rents for units available in the market are expected to increase by an average of about five per cent in Canada this year.
“Ongoing strength in population growth and suppressed first-time home buying activity will be supportive of the rental market this year, although a more than 40-year high anticipated for rental completions in 2023 will help to temper further rent increases,” the outlook read.
Last month, in a bid to help tackle skyrocketing rents across the country, the government of Canada opened applications for a one-time top-up as part of the Canada Housing Benefit (CHB) program — an initiative that would put $500 in the pockets of low-income renters.