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Metro Vancouver the most expensive, least accessible major rental market in Canada: report

The Vancouver region has long been known as one of Canada’s most expensive rental markets, and new data released Friday suggests it also continues to be one of the least accessible.

An annual report by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) found the vacancy rate for purpose-built rental apartments in Metro Vancouver dropped from 2.6 per cent in 2020 down to 1.2 per cent in 2021.

"The return of economic growth, the return of students to post-secondary institutions and a return of migration to British Columbia, all of those combined to increase rental demand in the past year,” CMHC senior specialist Eric Bond told CTV News.

Bond said 21 of the 37 centres included in the survey saw a drop-off in vacancy rates, with one major outlier in Toronto, which saw its vacancy rate jump up to 4.4 per cent.

“That’s due to people continuing to leave the central core of Toronto and move to places like B.C.,” said Bond.

Even those who find a rental can face increasingly unaffordable rents.

According to CMHC, the average rent for a two-bedroom condo in the region was $2,498 – the highest in the country, and well above the national average of $1,771.

“Overall, we saw a two per cent increase in the overall market rent,” Bond said.

Bond said despite the discouraging statistics, it’s not all doom and gloom.

“There were about 1,600 new purpose-built rental units added in the past year and 2,500 new condo units added as well.” Top Stories

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