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Average rent in Canada hits record high of $2,117 in August: report

B.C. remains the most expensive province when it comes to rental accommodation

A rental sign is seen outside a building in Ottawa, Thursday, April 30, 2020. A new report says the average listed rent for all property types in Canada jumped by 10.7 per cent year-over-year in January, the ninth straight month for double-digit increases.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Asking rents in Canada jumping more than $100 in the last three months, hitting a new record high of an average of $2,117 in August. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld) (The Canadian Press)

Rental accommodation rates continue to soar in Canada, with asking rents jumping more than $100 over three months, hitting a new record high of an average of $2,117 in August.

That’s according to the latest national rent report from Rentals.ca and real estate research firm Urbanation that analyzes listings across the country.

Between May and August, asking rents in Canada jumped 5.1 per cent, or an average of $103. On a monthly basis, average rents were up 1.8 per cent, and 9.6 per cent higher compared to 2022. While the year-over-year rate represents a slowdown from the 12 per cent increase recorded a year ago, it still brings the average rent in Canada to a record high.

“Unlike in the U.S., rent inflation in Canada has failed to cool down despite rental completions having reached their highest level in decades,” Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation, said in a statement.

“This is illustrative of the severe rental housing shortage across the country and the magnitude of the impact on rental demand as the population expands by a record pace.”

The increase comes in the wake of the Bank of Canada’s aggressive tightening campaign that saw it hike its benchmark interest rate 10 times since March 2022, bringing it to 5 per cent. The hikes have seen mortgage rates surge, jumping 30.6 per cent annually in July, according to Statistics Canada’s latest Consumer Price Index data.

At the same time, Canada’s population growth has surged, while housing supply across the country remains tight.

“Despite rental apartment completions in Canada over the past 12 months reaching their highest level since the 1970s, rent growth has remained exceptionally strong,” the report said.

“This can be attributed to the country’s record-high population growth and sharp deterioration in homeownership affordability.”

How much it costs to rent across Canada

British Columbia remains the most expensive province when it comes to rental accommodations, with the average listed rent coming in at $2,675, an increase of 11 per cent compared to last year. The average rent in Vancouver was $3,316 in August, an annual increase of 7.7 per cent.

In Ontario, average rents have hit $2,496, an increase of 10 per cent compared to 2022, with accommodation costs in Oakville reaching $3,007 a month (up 23.1 per cent annually) while Toronto hit $2,898 a month (up 8.7 per cent annually.)

Alberta saw the fastest annual growth rates for the fourth month in a row, with average rents reaching $1,634 a month, an increase of 15.6 per cent compared to last year. Calgary is leading the country when it comes to rent growth rates, with average rents jumping 17.3 per cent annually to hit $2,068 a month.

Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.

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