Vancouver landlords are seeking, on average, more than $3,000 per month in rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city, according to the latest monthly data from Rentals.ca.
That’s a 2.3-per-cent increase from the average asking price last month, and a 16.2-per-cent increase from the average at this time last year.
Unsurprisingly, Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada for people looking to rent. Toronto placed second, with the average asking price for a one-bedroom there at $2,592, more than $400 less than Vancouver’s average of $3,013.
Burnaby was the third-most-expensive city at $2,541 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.
Notably, the data reported by Rentals.ca and Urbanation Inc. does not represent the average price Vancouver renters are paying each month. Rather, it’s the average rent being sought for vacant listings across the Rentals.ca network.
Current renters – especially those who have been in their units for many years – are generally paying much lower rents, because the provincial government caps the maximum annual rent increase for continuing tenants each year.
Landlords typically hike their asking prices to market rates when a tenant is evicted or moves out, turning an affordable one-bedroom into an unaffordable one overnight. For this reason, tenant advocates have been lobbying for so-called “vacancy control,” which would tie caps on rent increases to the unit itself, rather than the tenant.
That policy proposal finds little support from landlords, who argue existing rent controls inhibit their ability to invest in improving their buildings or constructing new ones.
Anyone looking to rent a two-bedroom unit in Vancouver can expect to shell out almost $4,000 per month, according to the Rentals.ca report, which puts the average asking price in the city at $3,918.
Province-wide – though the data is certainly skewed by sky-high asking prices in Metro Vancouver – the picture is similarly bleak for would-be renters.
B.C. has the highest average asking prices in Canada for all sizes of rental housing, with studios on the market for an average of $1,949 per month, one-bedrooms averaging $2,379, two-bedrooms $2,857 and three-bedrooms $3,408.
The Canada-wide averages are $1,445 for a studio, $1,850 for a one-bedroom, $2,191 for a two-bedroom and $2,413 for a three-bedroom.
Given this, it’s not surprising that a recent Leger poll found nearly everyone in B.C. views rental affordability in the province as a serious problem. Ninety-four per cent of the B.C. residents surveyed said the issue was either somewhat serious or very serious, with almost three-quarters (71 per cent) saying the problem is “very serious.”
The online survey was conducted from Aug. 4 to 7 among 1,000 B.C. residents ages 18 and older. Data was weighted to census data for region within B.C., age, gender, education and presence of children in household to ensure a representative sample.
A probability sample of 1,000 carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.