Asking rents hit record highs for sixth consecutive month
Canada’s housing market continues to face unprecedented challenges as average asking rents have reached new heights for the sixth consecutive month, according to the latest National Rent Report by Rentals.ca and Urbanation. The report reveals that the average monthly rent in Canada now stands at $2,178, marking an 8.8 percent increase over the past six months, equivalent to an additional $175 per month for renters.
In October, the annual rate of rent growth across the country stood at 9.9 percent, showing a modest slowdown from September’s 11.1 percent annual pace. Despite this slight dip, it marked the second-fastest annual increase in the past seven months. Additionally, average asking rents experienced a 1.4 percent month-over-month increase in October, indicating a somewhat slower growth rate compared to the 1.5 percent gains seen in September and the 1.8 percent surge in August. This deceleration is primarily attributed to seasonal factors that influence the rental market.
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“While headline rent inflation for Canada continued to run hot in October, the slowing of rents in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver was significant, showing that affordability challenges are causing renters to shift into less expensive markets,” said Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation.
For the first time, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment surpassed $2,300 in October, reaching $2,311. One-bedroom apartments experienced the fastest annual growth, with rents increasing by 14.1 percent. Studio apartments, with an average asking rent of $1,538, saw a 12 percent rise compared to a year ago, while three-bedroom apartment rents increased annually by 8.9 percent, reaching an average of $2,532.
Certain provinces, including Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, saw concentrated rent inflation driven by strong population growth and increased supply entering the market at higher rents. Alberta experienced the most significant year-over-year increase in average asking rents at 16.4 percent. In Nova Scotia, average asking rents for apartments increased by 13.6 percent from a year ago, reaching $2,097, while Quebec followed closely with an annual growth rate of 13.3 percent, pushing average rents to $1,977.
Calgary maintained its position as the leader in annual rent growth for apartments among Canada’s largest cities for the ninth consecutive month, with a remarkable 14.7 percent annual increase. Montreal secured the second spot with annual rent growth of 10.2 percent, averaging $2,046 in October. However, Toronto witnessed a year-over-year decline of 0.8 percent in asking rents, marking the first annual decrease since August 2021.
B.C. continued to dominate as the most expensive in small- and medium-sized markets, with North Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Richmond leading the way. Côte Saint-Luc in Quebec experienced the highest annual growth among small- and mid-sized markets, with a staggering 36.6 percent increase in asking rents.
Notably, listings for shared accommodations in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec increased by 42 percent compared to the previous year. Average asking rents for roommate rentals also surged by 19 percent, reaching $964 per month.
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