A recent survey of 16,000 renters across 181 Canadian cities found that half of respondents are planning to look for more affordable housing due to the effects of COVID-19. Another 20 per cent said they are unsure given the uncertainty surrounding their job status.
Conducted in May, the five-question survey posted on Rentals.ca also queried renters on their apartment search method as a result of the pandemic, and how much more they would rely on online tools in order to avoid in-person contact.
41 per cent said they would take a 3-D virtual tour, but only to narrow down their housing options and not to ultimately sign a lease.
Another significant finding from the survey is that more than 50 per cent of respondents said they were planning to move at all—or at least were thinking about it, a number in keeping with other years at the onset of summer.
“There was a significant increase in website traffic on Rentals.ca in May,” said Matt Danison, CEO of Rentals.ca. “It appears prospective tenants are doing their research to move or at least to prepare for a move in the near future.”
Safe and more affordable
Along with affordability, health and safety measures have emerged as important features for renters seeking new digs with 43 per cent saying they would only rent from property managers who offer safe cleaning practices.
Many property managers and landlords have already implemented new cleaning regimes, which will most likely stick long after the coronavirus is beaten down.
Meanwhile, despite the unprecedented times we currently find ourselves in, 45 percent of survey respondents said they weren’t worried about moving during the pandemic, indicating we will likely see the same type of summer movement as in previous years.