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Canadian renters see largest increase in 3 years between April and May

Vancouver, Burnaby, Victoria among country’s top 10 most expensive places to rent
Average monthly rents across Canada are 10.5 per cent higher than they were a year ago, according to a new rental report surveying 35 Canadian cities. (Black Press Media file photo)

Vancouver tops the list of 35 Canadian cities for average monthly rent, according to a recent national report.

In May, average monthly rent for a one-bedroom home in the city was $2,377 – up 19.9 per cent over the previous year – and $3,495 for a two-bedroom (up 24 per cent), according to a survey by and Bullpen Research and Consulting.

Those rent hikes over 2021 are well above the year-over-year national average of 10.5 per cent over all property types. Nationally, average rents jumped 3.7 per cent between April and May 2022, the largest monthly increase seen since May 2019.

Victoria tenants have also experienced rent hikes higher than the national average over the past year. The average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom was $1,870 – higher by 13.4 per cent over 2021 – which placed the B.C. capital ninth on the top-35 list. The city’s average two-bedroom rent of $2,896 placed it third on the list.

Between April and May this year, average rents in Victoria jumped 5.3 per cent for a one-bedroom and 5.8 per cent for a two-bedroom.

READ ALSO: Needle in a haystack – 3 homes listed for less than $200,000 in Greater Victoria

Burnaby’s average rent this May of $2,012 for a one-bedroom unit was third-highest on the national list, while its two-bedroom average of $2,645 was fourth highest.

Year-over-year increases were also steep in Burnaby, where average rents jumped 24.1 per cent for a one-bedroom and 18.9 per cent for a two-bedroom. Between April and May this year, rents there jumped 6.9 per cent for a one-bedroom and 3.2 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Surrey came in at 19th out of 35 for its average monthly one-bedroom rent of $1,642 and 15th for its two-bedroom average of $2,137.

“After relatively flat rents, on average, in Canada during the first four months of (2022), rents rose sharply in May, as interest rate hikes dissuaded would-be buyers from leaving the rental market,” said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting.

READ ALSO: Low vacancy rates, rising prices squeeze Greater Victorians out of appropriate residential rentals

Uncertainty in the home ownership market and supply-chain delays and labour stoppages are expected to put upward pressure on rents into the fall, the report stated.

Vancouver has averaged the highest rent across all property types so far this year at $2,909 on a list of 20 Canadian cities and areas.

The report also shows there’s still a demand for larger units, with monthly rent for single-family homes moving from $2,609 in May 2021 to $2,881 this May – slightly above the market peak in 2019.

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