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Is Vancouver's pricey rental market softening? Landlords offering perks, discounts
With Vancouver's red-hot housing market showing obvious signs of slowing down, there are early indications that the city's pricey rental market might be following suit.
According to listing site PadMapper, the median cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is sitting at about $2,100 a month. And with vacancy rates near the one per cent mark, that means tenants have all but given up on looking for their ideal unit and will instead take whatever they can get.
"(It costs) $1,500, $1,600 for something pretty basic with limited light and probably mould, so it's not good," said Vancouver renter Jess Harvey.
But could that be changing?
An online search of the rental market revealed several landlords offering perks and discounts in an effort to entice renters. Those include one month of free rent and cash that can be applied to future payments.
And those offering these types of incentives included the owners of brand new or renovated suites.
"I mean, a month free doesn't really mean much if want to make a life in this city, but I guess it's a start," said Harvey. "I don't know if it's a sign of better things to come."
But with things on the for-sale side of real estate faltering, it might just be.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said fewer than 1,900 properties changed hands in April. That's a whopping 43 per cent below the 10-year sales average for that month.
February and March produced similar numbers.
While landlords offering discounts still make up a minority of the market and owners are still fetching a pretty penny, things aren't quite as profitable as they used to be.
"Oh yes, prices are coming down, but that doesn't mean people are still able to stay in the city," said another Vancouver resident
Vancouver's mayor appears to share that opinion.
This week, Kennedy Stewart voted against a two-per-cent tax shift from businesses to homeowners, even though the motion ultimately passed.
"It's going to make it worse, actually," he said. "It's lot of pressure on those who own rental buildings. We need our young families. We need workers of all kinds, but it's challenging."
The perks might just be a blip in the rental market, but it is the first time in a long time, tenants have seen relief of any kind.
With files from CTV Vancouver's St. John Alexander