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Rents are falling across the country – just not in Vancouver, one listings site says
VANCOUVER -- New data shows rental rates across the country are falling, but Vancouver continues to buck the trend.
According to the Rentals.ca June 2020 Rent Report, the average rent across all units in May was $1,814 country-wide. That's down 1.4 per cent from April, and down 5.4 per cent from 2019.
"It's really trended downward on a national basis," says Ben Myers, with Bullpen Research and Consulting Inc., which analyzed the data.
Toronto still has the highest rates in the country, with one bedrooms going for $2,103. But that's down one per cent over April of this year and more than six per cent lower than last year.
Vancouver sits in second place, with one bedrooms going for $2,022, on average. Despite the national downward trend, that's up 6.8 per cent over last month and 7.2 per cent over last year.
However, according to competing stats from PadMapper, rents did go down in Vancouver the month before, in April. PadMapper's data shows the cost Vancouver one bedrooms down 2.3 per cent that month, and down 1.4 per cent over the previous year.
The rest of Rentals.ca's 10 most expensive cities are all areas around Toronto – including Richmond Hill, Etobicoke, Markham and Mississauga.
The report says the pandemic "continues to put downward pressure on the market nationally," and rents are down 7.2 per cent from the market peak in September of 2019.
"The turnover rate in Canada, and especially in Vancouver and Toronto, has gone close to the lowest rates it's ever been," Myers adds, at 10 to 12 per cent.
That doesn't mean there aren't deals to be had. Some landlords are offering one month's rent free and other incentives, but rents generally aren't being reduced.
"They'd rather give an incentive up front as opposed to lowering the rent and then have that rent carry on for three, four, five, six years with only the minimal increases under the tenant act," Myers says.
Under the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act, landlords can only raise the rent by 2.6 per cent this year. If they were to lower rent significantly, it could take them quite a while to return to previous rates.