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National rent report Canada

Rents decline for third straight month, but remain 10% higher than last year

Average rents in Canada may have declined for the third consecutive month, but they still remain 9.7% higher compared to a year ago.

Average listed rents for purpose-built and condominium apartments as of February fell to $1,984, according to the national rent report published by Average rents have been trending down since reaching a peak of $2,024 in November. Still, today’s rent prices are nearly $300 higher compared to the low of $1,689 reached in February 2021.

“The rental market experienced a pullback over the past three months following record-breaking rent growth in 2022,” said Shaun Hildebrand, president of Toronto real estate research firm Urbanation, which authored the report.

“The recent slowing can be related to high rental costs impacting affordability and an increase in new supply from apartment completions,” he added. “However, several key markets experiencing high demand continued to see rents trend higher last month.”

The highest average rental rates were seen in the cities of Vancouver (+21.2% year-over-year) and Toronto (+22.7%).

Calgary leads rent growth among large markets

Of the country’s largest rental markets, Calgary saw the steepest year-over-year rise in average rents, according to the report.

Rents there reached $1.862 in February, a 28.1% increase from a year ago and a 3.8% rise in just the past three months.

Toronto saw the second-fastest rise in rents, with an annual increase of 22.8% to $2,370. That’s despite the city recording a 0.9% decline over the last three months.

At the municipal level, here’s a look at the year-over-year rent increases in some of the country’s key markets:

  • Vancouver, B.C.: +19%
  • Toronto, ON: +22.8%
  • Calgary, AB: +28.1%
  • Ottawa, ON: +13.5%
  • Montreal, QC: +8.2%
  • Winnipeg, MB: +8.4%
  • Halifax, NS: +8%

Quebec led the provinces in pace of annual rent increases

Of the provinces, Quebec saw the fastest pace of rent price growth at 16.2% year-over-year. The average rent in the province is now $1,808, which is the third-highest in Canada among all of the provinces.

Only British Columbia and Ontario are more expensive, with rents averaging $2,499 and $2,407, respectively. In terms of rent price growth, Ontario led the way with an annual increase of 16.2%, followed by Alberta at 14.5% and B.C. at 11.4%.

The provinces with the slowest growth in monthly rent prices were Nova Scotia (+3.6%), Manitoba (+8%) and Saskatchewan (+8.1%).