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1 in 4 Vancouver tenants spending more than half their income on rent: report

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The path to homeownership in Vancouver is becoming increasingly out-of-reach for many renters.

A new report from Royal LePage found that 27 per cent of renters in the city are spending more than half of their income on rental costs, well above the national average of 16 per cent.

Among renters living in B.C., 23 per cent spend up to 30 per cent of their income on rent, while 42 per cent spend between 31 and 50 per cent of their income, according to the report.

The report reads that more than one quarter of renters across B.C. plan to purchase a property in the next two years, while 52 per cent will not.

“With a boost in rental supply in Vancouver, competition in this segment is improving, although affordability remains a challenge for tenants facing some of the highest rental prices in the country. Still, demand to live in one of Canada’s most popular cities remains consistent,” said Nina Knudsen, property manager, Royal LePage Sussex in North Vancouver.

“Empty nesters and working professionals make up a significant portion of our renter demographic, as do tenants who are landlords themselves. It is not uncommon for renters to buy an investment property in a less expensive market and lease it out while they continue to save towards the purchase of a primary residence.”

Knudsen went on to say that tightening provincial legislation on rentals has caused some would-be landlords to step out of the market, a potential challenge for the creation of rental supply.

The average rent in Vancouver for a two-bedroom unit in October 2023 was 8.6 per cent higher than a year prior, according to CMHC numbers quoted in the report.

Vacancy rates sat at 0.9 per cent for both purpose-built rental buildings and condominium apartments.

The report also says a two-bedroom unit in Victoria was 7.9 per cent higher than last year with a vacancy rate in purpose-built rental buildings sitting at 1.6 per cent.

Royal LePage also found that one third of Canadians live in rental accommodations. Their report says that figure has been gradually increasing in recent years, as affordability challenges in the resale market persist. 

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