News / Vancouver

Vancouver rent most expensive in Canada — by a lot

Median one-bedroom rents in Toronto, the next most expensive city, are $440 cheaper than in Vancouver, according to data published by Padmapper.com

High rise condominiums in Vancouver.

Jennifer Gauthier/For Metro

High rise condominiums in Vancouver.

Vancouver continues to have the priciest rents in Canada, while Victoria is now third most expensive, according to Padmapper.com, a rental listings site.  

Since Padmapper began publishing reports this June on the data it gathers, the median price to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver has been significantly higher than Toronto, the next most expensive city. In August, the median one-bedroom rent rate for Vancouver was $1,750, compared to $1,310 in Toronto — a $440 difference.

According to Padmapper’s data, one-bedroom rental rates in Vancouver increased 2.9 per cent between July and August. But two-bedrooms have been dropping in price since May, from $2,780 to $2,680.

Padmapper has around 300 active listings for Vancouver per month, with the majority of those being one-bedrooms, said Tanguy Le Louarn, a data analyst with San Francisco-based Padmapper.

Rents have also started to creep up in Victoria, a city that has also started to see a similar acceleration in residential real estate prices. With the median one-bedroom now $1,080, B.C.’s capital has edged out Calgary, where rents have been falling over the past few months. In Toronto, the second most-expensive city according to Padmapper’s data, rents for one-bedrooms fell by 1.5 per cent and two-bedroom rents dropped 2.3 per cent between August and September.

Month-to-month data on rent rates is hard to come by, and some researchers have turned to online listings to try to get a picture of what is happening in the rental market.

In August, Metro reported on Craiglist data collected and analyzed by Tom Davidoff, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia, which showed that Vancouver rents had jumped by a whopping 15% between April and August 2016.

(Davidoff’s data showed that the median rate for a one-bedroom in Vancouver in August was $1790, compared to $2,200 for a two-bedroom.)

Padmapper’s data, which so far only includes the past four months, shows a less dramatic increase of around 2%, Le Louarn said. But it’s apparent that, like nosebleed-level home price increases, Vancouver rents don’t reflect local incomes.

The Padmapper data for the United States show that after several years of rent increases, rents are now plateauing, even in in-demand cities like New York and San Francisco.

“(Vancouver) rents have been growing over the past few years, far outpacing wage growth, and it cannot happen forever,” Le Louarn said.

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