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Metro Vancouver renters spending more than 60% of monthly income, report suggests

A condo tower is seen under construction in downtown Vancouver as freighters sit at anchor on English Bay, on Thursday, January 19, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck A condo tower is seen under construction in downtown Vancouver as freighters sit at anchor on English Bay, on Thursday, January 19, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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Metro Vancouver renters are spending nearly two thirds of their monthly income on rent – more than double the recommended rent-to-income ratio – a new report suggests.

According to monthly data released by listings site Liv.rent Thursday, the average renter in the Metro Vancouver region is spending 61.65 per cent of their income on housing each month.

"While traditional financial advice would be to spend no more than 30 per cent of your income on rent, this advice is perhaps not well suited to renting in cities like Vancouver," the report said.

According to the report, the cost to rent an unfurnished one-bedroom unit in Metro Vancouver rose by 1.68 per cent between March and April, while the cost to rent a furnished one-bedroom unit rose 10.05 per cent. Year-over-year, the average rent for an unfurnished one-bedroom unit in Metro Vancouver rose by $113, according to the report.

"As the busy summer renting season approaches, Metro Vancouver’s average rental rates have increased after a brief dip in March," the report said. "With this recent change, the region’s rent prices have rebounded to just below February’s yearly high."

Langley cheapest for most space

Liv.rent's report showed the cheapest rentals based on square footage were in Langley, Surrey and West Vancouver. In those cities, rents were less than $3 per square foot, per month.

Vancouver's rent per square foot, however, was the highest at $3.88 per square foot. Burnaby wasn't far behind at $3.84 and North Vancouver came in third at $3.55.

Looking at specific neighbourhoods, the report showed downtown was the most expensive place to rent in Vancouver, with one-bedroom units going for $2,840 per month, on average. Similar units went for an average of $2,127 in Sunset-Victoria Fraserview, however, which was the cheapest neighbourhood in the city.

Most expensive in the country

Nationwide, Liv.rent's data for April suggested four of the five most expensive cities in the country were located in Metro Vancouver.

West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver and Burnaby took the top four spots, while the fifth spot was handed to Markham, Ont. In that city, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment hit $2,404. 

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