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Average rental prices in Canada surge to record highs in October 2023



Rental prices in Canada have soared to unprecedented heights, with an average asking price of $2,149 per month in October, a revelation from a recent report compiled by Rentals.ca, a Canadian rental listings website, in collaboration with real estate research firm Urbanation. This alarming surge in rental costs continues to push the boundaries of affordability for Canadians across the country.


The data, based on new listings, paints a grim picture for renters, with a monthly increase of 1.5 percent from August and an astonishing annual surge of 11.1 percent. This surge represents a double-digit year-over-year growth, pushing the annual rate of rent inflation to its highest point in nine months, as highlighted in the report. These numbers are especially disheartening for renters as they are based on new listings rather than the existing tenants' monthly payments.


Breaking down the rental types, one-bedroom units have seen the fastest annual growth in asking rents, with a staggering 15.5 percent increase, reaching an average of $1,905. Two-bedroom apartments averaged $2,268, marking a 13.1 percent increase year-over-year, while three-bedroom units have gone up by 11.4 percent, now averaging $2,514. Studios, the most economical choice, witnessed the lowest year-over-year growth with an increase of 11.3 percent, averaging $1,511 in rental prices.


The report highlights that asking rents for purpose-built and condominium apartments have reached an all-time high, averaging $2,078 in September. This represents a 1.6 percent increase month-over-month and a staggering 13.3 percent increase year-over-year.


When analyzing the data by region, Nova Scotia and Alberta stand out with the highest rent growth rates for both purpose-built and condominium apartments in September, at 15.4 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively. Nova Scotia outpaced Alberta in terms of average asking rents, reaching $2,088, while Alberta climbed to $1,663.


Quebec follows as the third fastest annual growth with a rate of 13 percent, closely trailed by British Columbia at 12.3 percent. However, despite their growth rates, Quebec's asking rents remain below the national average at $1,970, while British Columbia boasts the highest average of all provinces at $2,656.


Ontario experienced a slight slowdown in its annual growth rate, dropping from 9.9 percent in August to 6.6 percent in September, with asking rents declining by 0.4 percent month-over-month. Nevertheless, Ontario still has the second-highest rent average by province at $2,486.


In contrast, the Prairie provinces, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, reported the slowest annual rent growth in September at 3.8 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively. Saskatchewan's asking rents averaged $1,115, and Manitoba's averaged $1,431.


The rental market in Toronto experienced a notable slowdown compared to August, with the rent growth dropping from 8.7 percent to 2.3 percent, marking the slowest annual rate increase in two years. Despite this, Toronto's average asking rate remains high at $2,902, making it the second-highest in the country, just behind Vancouver, which has an average of $3,339, representing a 7.7 percent year-over-year increase.


Among Canada's largest markets, Calgary led in annual growth, with asking rent prices reaching an average of $2,091, a 14.3 percent increase in September. Montreal also witnessed a double-digit rent increase at 10.2 percent, raising the average asking rent price to $2,030.


In smaller markets, Richmond, B.C., part of Greater Vancouver, had the most substantial growth at 28.9 percent, followed by Cote-Saint-Luc, Que., part of Greater Montreal, at 27.5 percent and Red Deer, Alta., at 21.8 percent. Oakville, Ontario, had the fastest annual growth of 19.4 percent.


In terms of shared accommodations, the report reveals a 27 percent increase in roommate rentals over the last three months compared to the previous year. This trend has been particularly pronounced in British Columbia and within Ontario, with shared accommodation listings increasing by 40 and 78 percent, respectively. The average asking rent for shared accommodations rose by 18 percent year-over-year in September, reaching $944 per month, with Vancouver having the highest average asking rent at $1,590 and Toronto at $1,308.


With soaring rental prices impacting Canadians across the country, finding affordable housing is becoming an increasingly daunting challenge for many, making it crucial for policymakers and stakeholders to address this growing concern.


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