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New data indicates rent growth may be slowing

Oct 13, 2023 | Public | 0 comments

While most major markets across Canada experienced rent increases in September, reaching an average high of $2,149 per month, there are indications that the annual rate of rent growth may be slowing. According new data from to and Urbanation, Toronto in particular saw a deceleration in rent growth across all unit types, potentially signaling a broader trend as the economy cools and renters face mounting affordability constraints.

“While rent inflation in Canada remained exceptionally strong in September, most major markets experienced a slower annual rate of rent growth compared to recent months,” said Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation. “This was particularly true in Toronto, where rents grew by their slowest pace in two years.”

At the national level, one-bedroom apartments recorded the most substantial annual growth in asking rents, reaching 15.5 per cent year-over-year, while two-bedroom apartments saw an increase of 13.1 per cent. Studio apartments, representing the most affordable option among unit types, experienced an annual rent growth of 11.3 per cent.

At the provincial level, Nova Scotia and Alberta led the way for both purpose-built and condominium apartments with annual growth rates of 15.4 per cent and 15.3 per cent respectively. Quebec and British Columbia also posted strong rent growth figures at 13 and 12.3 per cent. Meanwhile, Ontario saw a slowdown from 9.9 per cent in August to 6.6 per cent in September while Saskatchewan and Manitoba experienced the slowest annual rent growth at 3.8 and 3.1 per cent apiece.

Among Canada’s major cities, Calgary led with a 14.3 per cent annual increase in asking rents, reaching an average of $2,091, followed by Montreal, which posted a 10.2 per cent year-over-year increase, reaching $2,030. Toronto witnessed the most significant slowdown, with rent growth slowing to 2.3 per cent representing the lowest annual rate of increase in two years.

Medium and smaller markets

Canada’s medium and smaller markets continued to experience strong annual rent growth, with Richmond (Greater Vancouver) leading at 28.9 per cent followed by Cote-Saint-Luc (Greater Montreal) at 27.5 per cent. Red Deer, Alberta, ranked third with an annual growth rate of 21.8 per cent.

In Ontario, Oakville demonstrated the fastest rising rents with an annual growth rate of 19.4 per cent. Halifax and Regina led the way in smaller provinces, with 15.5 and 13.4 per cent annual rent growth rates respectively.

Listings volume

As Canadians seek to save on housing costs, the volume of listings for shared accommodations increased by 27 per cent over the past three months compared to the previous year. This included a 40 per cent increase in listings in B.C. and a 78 per cent increase in Ontario. Average asking rents for shared accommodations grew by 18 per cent year-over-year to $944 per month.

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