Average monthly rents were down in April over March in most Canadian cities, according to the latest data from Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting. The new monthly report also shows that both rental apartments and condo apartments listed on Rentals.ca were down 3.2 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively month over month.
“The average monthly rents for all listings on Rentals.ca in Canada did not decline in April, but the COVID-19 pandemic is having a big impact on the national rental market in Canada,” said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting. “Larger single-family and townhouse units are remaining on the market, pulling the average rent up, while other major landlords are offering a free month of rent or other substantial incentives to entice tenants.”
Most areas saw decreases in average monthly rents of 6 per cent or more, with the exception of Montreal and Regina. The former municipality of York saw a monthly decline of 12.6 per cent, while Edmonton and London both declined by 11.3 per cent. Victoria and Ottawa decreased by 8.7 per cent, while Calgary and Winnipeg declined 7.6 per cent. Vancouver and Toronto declined by 6.8 per cent and 6.0 per cent respectively.
Other key takeaways:
- There has been much talk about COVID-19’s impact on the short-term rental market with travel restrictions in place. This can play out with more furnished apartments listed for long-term renters. On Rentals.ca, 25 per cent of Quebec’s rental and condo apartments were furnished; 17 per cent were furnished in Ontario and 15 per cent were furnished in British Columbia.
- On a provincial level, Ontario had the highest rental rates in April, with landlords seeking $2,141 per month on average for all property types. British Columbia had the second highest rental rate at $1,946 per month, while Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest at $1,001.
- Average monthly rents declined from March to April in three large provinces: Alberta dropped 5.7 per cent; Ontario showed a 4.6 per cent decrease and British Columbia was down 0.7% monthly.
- In Toronto, the areas experiencing the biggest declines are the prime downtown markets ranging from an 8 per cent to 13 per cent decline month over month. The Yorkville area has also experienced a decline of 9.4 per cent monthly. These areas have plenty of AirBnB activity, which has likely depressed rental rates.
“The sharp monthly declines in the average rental rates in major cities in Canada was stark,” said Matt Danison, CEO of Rentals.ca. “The average two-bedroom unit in old Toronto was offered at $2,669 per month in April, the lowest rate in 16 months. One-bedroom rental rates haven’t been this low in Toronto since 2018. With the gradual opening of the economy, this may be the low point for rental rates in some time if tenants feel comfortable enough to move.”
Rentals.ca recently published seven predictions on how the pandemic could reshape the rental market.