A recent national report suggests Victoria has seen the highest year-over-year percentage increase in rental rates for one and two-bedroom homes in Canada.
According to research conducted by rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting, the average listed rental price for available one-bedroom units in Victoria for October came out to $1,863 per month, which ranked as the fifth-highest in Canada. The average listing price per month of available two-bedroom rental units in October, meanwhile, was $2,432 per month — the third highest in Canada. Furthermore, the listed price amounts for both unit types have jumped nearly 20 per cent — the highest year-over-year increase in the country — since October 2020, according to data collected from the site.
“People are working from home and decided, ‘hey I can work from anywhere, why not Victoria?'” said Paul Danison, content director at Rentals.ca. “So that’s added to the market. You don’t have a lot of supply there. It’s kind of a perfect storm for Victoria.”
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says there are “hundreds” of rental building proposals in the pipeline but time-consuming politics often get in the way of the approval process.
“We have to get creative and we have to get bold,” said Helps. “What I’d like to see is any rental building that fits with the official community plan shouldn’t need to have a rezoning or public hearing, it should just go straight to building permit and get built. That would probably cut about two years out of the process and get housing built much more quickly.”
Helps admits Victoria’s rental supply isn’t near the pace of demand and Victoria is lagging behind other Municipal governments including New Westminster and Surrey when it comes to bringing more supply to the market in an expedited fashion.
“So rental is happening, what we need to do as council is get out of the way and make it happen more quickly,” said Helps.
More supply is currently in construction, but Helps says city staff are working on a new rental incentive program set for the new year which she expects will help boost supply. Until that supply is available to the market, however, industry experts predict a similar rental trend in B.C.’s capital for the foreseeable future.
“I think they’re just going to continue to go up,” said Danison.
To view the full report, click here.