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Vancouver dubbed the most expensive rental market in Canada: report

There’s yet another new sign of the skyrocketing cost of living in British Columbia.

Vancouver is once again being dubbed the most expensive rental market in Canada, according to a recently released national report.

New data from from shows the annual rate of rent inflation in Canada increased 10.7 per cent in January.

According to Paul Danison, the content director of the rental listing website, last month was the ninth in a row for double digit increases.

“It’s not surprising…inflation is high, interest rates have gone up, which keeps a lot of would-be home buyers in the rental market,” said Danison. “Supply and demand is a huge issue.” 

An even bigger jump was seen in B.C., where the rate rose by 14.4 per cent.

The report shows the average rent for an apartment in B.C. was $2,163 for a one bedroom and $2,769 for a two bedroom.

In comparison, that's about 5 per cent more than Ontario renters pay.

Vancouver had the highest increase for condo and apartment rentals, with prices rising nearly 23 per cent.

Danison’s advice for people looking to save money on rent? Move out of the city.

“You have to be willing to kind of look around a little bit at other places, if you want to get more room or have more space for your children to play in the yard or something. I’m not sure, in the state of the situation with Vancouver right now, that it’s really doable unless you’re making a lot of money,” he said.

There’s not much relief in the suburbs either.

The three most expensive cities for rent in medium markets are also in B.C..

They are: Burnaby at $2,947 a month, Coquitlam at $2,680, and Richmond at $2,636.

Burnaby actually took over the top spot for the fastest appreciating rental market in January, posting a 32.7 per cent year-over-year increase.

If moving out of B.C. isn’t an option for people looking for affordable rent, Danison says some landlords may be willing to help.

“You can negotiate with your landlord, number one, you can offer to do work around the place. I don’t know anything that you can do to help the situation if the landlord isn’t in your favour.”

He says Alberta is becoming a hot spot for interprovincial movement among Canadians who are looking for affordable places to live.

“Whenever you have a rent controlled city like Vancouver or Toronto, you don't get purpose built rentals built as fast and as quickly as you do in other areas such as like Calgary, which doesn't have the rent control.”

Governments at all levels need to work together on creative solutions to fix rising rental rates, according to Danison.

“Without some creative solutions, the rents are just going to continue to go up.”


The data used in this analysis is based on monthly listings from the Network of Internet Listings Services (ILS). This data differs from the numbers collected and published by the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC). Top Stories

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