The average national cost of rent has increased according to CMHC’s 2019 Rental Market Survey.
This is consistent with the trend over the past few years. The cost of rent is heavily influenced by several factors, like homebuying affordability, unit availability and net migration to Canada.
These highlights show the increase in rents across Canada in major cities:
- The tighter rental markets were accompanied by strong rent growth, with average rents increasing by 3.9% for a 2-bedroom apartment between October 2018 and October 2019. This is the fastest pace of same-sample rent growth for this popular type since October 2001.
- Halifax, Montreal, Calgary, and the GTA all registered stronger rent growth in 2019 than in 2018, while Vancouver registered a slowdown. However, the relatively tighter GTA and Vancouver markets were the only ones amongst these CMAs to register rent growth above the national average.
- The major centres of Toronto and Vancouver continue to see high rent levels. We also see some relief on the upward pressure on rents from growing supply of purpose-built rental apartments. This partly reflects high financial barriers to homeownership in these cities, reflecting high home prices.
- Entry-level home prices continue to remain high, relative to local incomes in Vancouver. This results in many potential homebuyers facing financial barriers to entry into homeownership. Some potential homebuyers may choose to rent longer term, contributing to rental demand.
- Both the Toronto and Vancouver area reports mention that high rental demand reflects, in part, lower affordability of homeownership in those 2 cities.
- In Toronto, prices of multiple-family dwellings (like condominium apartments and townhouses) have shown stronger price growth than other housing types over the last year. These homes are typically more popular among first-time homebuyers. This is pushing demand towards the rental market.
National Housing Strategy’s goal is to create affordable housing
As a fundamental component of the National Housing Strategy, CMHC offers the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFI) and the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund (AHIF). Both programs strive to improve both the affordability through the increased availability of rental units. If you are a Business, Municipality or Government official looking for funding, these initiatives can not only help improve Canada's rental housing supply, but also prove to be profitable.
The Rental Market Report uses data collected by CMHC's Rental Market Survey. It’s developed annually by CMHC. The report and provides in-depth analysis and trends around the cost and availability of rental units throughout major cities within Canada. Learn more about the national vacancy rate in the report.