Average Canadian rent prices down 8.5% from last year, but could be bottoming out: report

Average Canadian rent prices down 8.5% from last year, but could be bottoming out: report
File photo.

As Canadians endure the pandemic for the second year in a row, the average rent price across Canada has actually decreased 8.5 per cent from last March.

The average price on Rentals.ca in March of 2021 was $1,685 per month, down $157 – or 8.5 per cent – from $1,842 in March of last year, the rental website says in a new report.

The average monthly rental price in Canada has steadily declined from its peak in August of 2019, when prices averaged $1,954 – now down $269 from the peak and down $29 from February, according to Rentals.ca’s and Bullpen Research & Consulting’s latest National Rent Report.

In Victoria, the average rent for a one-bedroom went down to $1,617 per month — both a month-over-month and year-over-year decrease — but it is still the 11th-most expensive price in the country.

For two-bedroom rentals, Victoria placed 14th-most expensive with rents increasing from last year to $1,902.

Four of the five largest cities in Canada experienced year-over-year rent declines in average rent for all property types in March.

Toronto had a dramatic decline of 18.7 per cent; followed by Vancouver at 8.8 per cent; Edmonton at 6.6 per cent; and Montreal at 4.4 per cent.

Only Calgary saw an increase, and that was a small 1.8 per cent increase, says Rentals.ca.

Although Canada has seen a steady decrease over the past year and a half, Rentals.ca says there are signs that the rental market might be bottoming out as the average rent increased in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal from last month.

The decrease in price could be due to a lack of availability for larger rentals.

“There are fewer large units and single-family homes for rent, and many more tiny condominium suites, as tenants look for larger units to work from home,” said Matt Danison, CEO of Rentals.ca

And as many Canadians still work from home amid the pandemic, renters continue to look for larger units for a home office, which has resulted in more smaller units being listed on Rentals.ca pulling the average rent down.

And while Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver all saw year-over-year decreases, rental prices actually increased in all three of these cities from February to March of this year, a possible indicator of a steady upward trend.

READ MORE: B.C. to ban rent increases for rest of 2021

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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