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The time for renters to move is now, report suggests

In a recent report by Zumper, it has been highlighted that the current climate presents an ideal opportunity for renters to make a move, especially in Canada's priciest markets where rent prices are experiencing a noteworthy decline. The report, published on Thursday, revealed a compelling trend with nine out of Canada's top 10 most expensive rental markets witnessing a month-over-month decrease in the average rent prices for one-bedroom apartments in December. Kelowna, B.C., the tenth-priciest market, maintained a stable standing with flat rent prices.

The findings suggest that the winter season provides a unique advantage for renters considering a move. The report points out that most renters tend to avoid apartment hunting during the holiday season due to the challenges associated with moving in cold and unpredictable weather while juggling travel plans. Consequently, the rental market experiences reduced competition in the winter compared to other times of the year.

The report also identified that approximately 10,000 buildings on Zumper's platform offered move-in specials for the month, indicating a trend where property owners adjust pricing to fill vacancies swiftly ahead of the holidays. This aligns with the general notion that property owners are inclined to lower unit prices during the winter season, creating an opportune time for renters seeking a more affordable deal.

For the first time in over a year, the national rent index for a one-bedroom apartment experienced a 0.2 percent decline, settling at $1,890 per month. Meanwhile, the national rent index for two-bedroom apartments increased by a modest $10 per month, reaching $2,360. The report signals a noteworthy slowdown in the acceleration of rental prices on a year-over-year basis. In December, one-bedroom apartments saw a 10.6 percent increase, a dip from the 13 percent hike observed the previous month.

Vancouver maintains its status as the most expensive Canadian city for renting an apartment, with one-bedroom apartments averaging $2,730 per month. Toronto and Burnaby rounded out the top three, with rental prices standing at $2,500 and $2,490, respectively. Kingston and Montreal were the only two cities among the top 15 to experience month-over-month rent hikes, recording increases of 5.8 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.

In light of these findings, renters are encouraged to consider a winter move if they are in pursuit of a cost-effective deal. With decreased competition and a market trend toward lower prices, the current circumstances create a favorable environment for those contemplating a change in their living arrangements. As the year concludes, the Zumper report provides valuable insights for renters navigating the dynamic Canadian rental landscape.