Community Counselling & Resource Centre

Rents increase at more than twice the rate of inflation as average cost hits $947 per month: CMHC

November 28th, 2017

Are you feeling the Canadian housing crunch? Canada's federal housing agency says rent for 2017 increased at a rate more than twice that of inflation to hit an average of $947 per month.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says the vacancy rate for apartments also decreased in 2017 for the first time in three years.

The federal agency says the vacancy rate in Canadian cities with at least 10,000 people fell to 3% in October, down from 3.7% a year earlier.

That reverses increases in 2015 and 2016 and leaves the vacancy rate at its 10-year average.

Fewer apartments were available because of increased rental demand in oil-producing provinces along with improving employment among young adults, influx of immigrants and a slowdown in additional rental units.

Vacancy rates were lowest in B.C. cities of Kelowna and Abbotsford-Mission at 0.2% and highest in Saskatoon at 9.6%.

Metropolitan Vancouver was at 0.9%, Toronto 1%, Montreal at 2.8%, Ottawa 1.7%, Edmonton 7% and St. John's 7.2%.

The number of rental apartments increased by 1.2% or 23,000 in the last year, about half the growth rate in the 2016 CMHC rental market report.

The average national monthly rent for a two-bedroom rental apartment rose 2.8% to $989.

Rent increases were greatest in Kelowna at 8.6% and fell by 1.3% in Saskatoon and Edmonton.

Average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments were highest in Vancouver ($1,552), Toronto ($1,404) and Calgary ($1,247). They were lowest in Trois-Rivieres ($594).

The average vacancy rate for condominium rentals declined to 1.6% from 1.9% a year earlier.

Average two-bedroom condo rentals were highest in Toronto at $2,000 and lowest in London, Ont., at $996.