A glance at trends from the 2022 report
- Rental housing supply surged but demand outpaced growth — leaving the national vacancy rate at a near-historic low.
- New data shows that average rent growth for 2-bedroom units was significantly higher for units that turned over to a new tenant than the ones that didn’t.
- The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment reached an all-time high.
- Low rental housing stock disproportionately impacted low-income renters.
- Rental condo market supply increased but conditions remain tight.
Our 2022 Rental Market Report gives you a comprehensive look at Canada’s rental housing market. It provides an in-depth analysis of rents, vacancy rates and affordability, using data from our latest Rental Market and Condominium Apartment surveys.
Purpose built rental market
(In Canadian centres
with population 10,000+)
Average 2‑bedroom rent
Up by 5.6%
Rental condominium apartment market
(In the major census
metropolitan areas surveyed)
Average 2‑bedroom rent
Up by 9%
The national vacancy rate was at a near-historic low as rental housing demand surged
Rental supply increased by about 55,000 purpose-built rental apartment units (+2.6%) between October 2021 and October 2022. This is the strongest rate of increase since 2013.
Rental demand outpaced growth with the number of occupied units increasing by about 79,000 units (+3.8%).
The demand for rental housing was higher than the strong supply growth, leading to the lowest national vacancy rate since 2001. The national vacancy rate for purpose-built rental apartments dropped from 3.1% in 2021 to 1.9% in 2022.
Several factors led to the increase in rental housing demand. These include:
- higher immigration and net migration
- more expensive homeownership
- students returning to on-campus learning in several census metropolitan areas
New data reveal the impact of turnover on the average rent
Our 2022 report introduces a new data point:
The effects of turnovers on average rent. A turnover is when a current tenant leaves at the end of their contract period and the landlord rents the property to a new tenant.
The data show that the average rent increase for 2-bedroom units that turned over to a new tenant was well-above increases of units that did not change tenants (18.3% compared to 2.9%).
Landlords often increase rent to current market levels when a tenant leaves a unit. Some landlords upgrade units between tenants so they can charge higher rents to new tenants.
These higher rents increased affordability challenges for renters who are trying to enter the market or find new housing.
Our analysis also reveals that turnover rates decreased to 13.6% in 2022, from 15.5% in 2021. This indicates that households are staying in their homes — contributing to lower overall vacancy rates.
Average rent for 2-bedroom units reaches new high
The average rent growth for 2-bedroom purpose-built apartments surveyed jumped to 5.6% in 2022, up from 3% in 2021. This is a new annual high and is well above the 1990 to 2022 average of 2.8%.
Vancouver (at $2,002) and Toronto (at $1,779) remain the markets with the highest average rents in Canada, well above the national average of $1,258.
Low-income renters impacted as affordable rental stock remains low
Lower-income renters continued to face affordability challenges because the share of affordable rental units remained limited.
For the bottom 20% of income-earners in most rental markets, the affordable share of the rental market is much less than 20% of the stock of market rental units.
Québec centres, such as Montréal, have a higher share of their rental market affordable to the bottom 20% of income-earners. Reasons for this include a larger rental stock, older and smaller structures and possibly more individual owner-landlords than in other centres.
Rental condo market supply grows but conditions remain tight
In 2022, rental condominiums made up 19.3% of the total stock of rental units across centres:
- Vancouver was the leader, with 42.5% of its rental stock being condominiums.
- Calgary (37.5%) and Toronto (34%) also have high numbers of condos as their rental housing stock.
- Centres in Québec reported smaller shares, including Montréal at 6.7%.
While the overall rental condo supply increased by 7.2% in 2022, the average vacancy rate for these units remained low at 1.6%.
The average rent for a 2-bedroom rental condominium apartment saw a significant increase to $1,930 from $1,771, at about 9% year-over-year.
Find highlights for Canada's largest centres below. Other census metropolitan areas are detailed in the Rental Market Report.