The annual rate of inflation for asking rents in Canada was 6.5% in May 2023, representing the slowest year-over-year growth since December 2021.

Rent Report Graphic - June 2023_v3

1. National Overview

Rents Grow by Slowest Pace in 17 Months

But asking rents increased 0.6% month over month in May to an average of $2,014 and rose 19% over the past two years.

While rent increases have begun to moderate, further upward pressure on rents is expected in the coming months as the population continues to expand at a record pace and homeownership affordability worsens following the recent upward momentum in housing prices and additional increase in interest rates.

1 Avg Asking Rent All Prop June 20232 Annual Change in Avg Asking Rent All Prop June 2023

One-Bedroom Rents Post Largest Annual Increase

Annual growth in asking rents for purpose-built and condominium apartments slowed to 7.3% in May 2023 from a 10.1% pace in April. Overall, rents for purpose-built and condo apartments averaged $1,944, with one-bedroom rents averaging $1,770 and two-bedroom rents averaging $2,127. One-bedroom rents experienced the largest rent increase over the past year with growth of 8.5%.

3 Avg Listed by Bed Type June 20234 Annual Change Avg Rent by Bed June 2023

2. Provincial Overview

Alberta Takes Provincial Lead for Fastest Rising Rents

Alberta became the provincial leader for annual rent growth during May, with average asking rents for purpose-built and condominium apartments up 13.4% year over year to $1,521. Even with this growth, Alberta rents were still 22% below the average for Canada.

Ontario, which led rent growth in Canada during April, slipped to the second spot in May with an annual increase of 12.4% to reach an average of $2,409 — 58% higher than Alberta average rents.

Quebec also posted double-digit annual rent growth in May of 10.6% for purpose-built and condo apartments, which averaged $1,875.

British Columbia remains the most expensive province with average rents at $2,468 for purpose-built and condo apartments (62% higher than Alberta), with its annual rate of rent growth slowing to 5.2%.

5 Avg Ask Rent by Prov and Bed June 20236 Change in Avg Asking Rent by Prov June 2023

3. Municipal Overview

Toronto Rents Rose Fastest for Large Cities in May

Canada’s six largest cities average rents reached $2,118 for purpose-built and condominium apartments in May 2023, rising 13.1% annually.

Toronto took over the lead from Calgary as the growth leader with rents up 15.5% year over year to an average of $2,808.

Calgary rents, which averaged $1,944 for purpose-built and condo apartments (31% lower than Toronto), increased 14.6% annually in May compared to 22.9% annual growth recorded in April. Ottawa rents also increased at a 14.6% annual rate in May, reaching an average of $2,134.

Vancouver, which is the most expensive of Canada’s largest cities with average rents of $3,137 for purpose-built and condo apartments in May, saw its annual rate of rent growth slow to 9.7% from 16.8% in April.

7 Avg Ask Rent by Bed for Largest Markets June 20238 Ann Change in Avg Ask Rent for Largest Markets Condo and Apt June 2023

Canada’s Most Expensive Mid-Sized Markets in Ontario and British Columbia

Oakville continued as Canada’s most expensive mid-sized market in May with an average rent of $3,373 for purpose-built and condominium apartments.

This was followed by three suburbs of Vancouver in Burnaby ($2,899), Coquitlam ($2,774), and Richmond ($2,711).

Toronto suburbs rounded out the remaining top 14 most expensive mid-sized cities, with rents ranging between $2,634 in North York and $2,527 in Burlington.

Outside the GTA in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the most expensive mid-sized markets included Barrie ($2,481), Guelph ($2,471), Cambridge ($2,237), Kitchener ($2,178), and Hamilton ($2,110). Other mid-sized markets in British Columbia that were ranked in the top 25 most expensive in Canada included New Westminster ($2,426), Kelowna ($2,398), Surrey ($2,346), Langley ($2,268), and Victoria ($2,215).

Scarborough continued as Canada’s fastest appreciating mid-sized rental market, with rents up 29% annually to an average of $2,536 (ranked 13th) for purpose-built and condominium apartments.

Red Deer (positioned midway between Calgary and Edmonton) recorded the second fastest annual rent growth of 25%, while maintaining an affordable average rent of $1,363.

Several GTA and surrounding markets made it near the top of the fastest growing list, including Brampton (+23%), North York (+22%), Guelph (+19%), Markham +18%), Hamilton (+16%), and Vaughan (+15%).

9 Avg Ask Rent Condo Apt Top 25 Mid Markets June 202310 Ann Change in Avg Rent Condos 25 Fastest Growing Mid Markets June 2023

Average Rent for Roommate Accommodations Exceeds $1,000 in Vancouver and Toronto

As Canada’s rental market has become increasingly more expensive, the demand for roommate rentals has grown quickly, pushing up rents for this type of accommodation.

In Vancouver and Toronto, roommate rents were well above $1,000, averaging $1,433 in Vancouver and $1,299 in Toronto.

In British Columbia, the average roommate rental was priced at $1,133 in May, up 18% from a year ago. Roommate rents averaged $994 in Ontario, $895 in Quebec, and $806 in Alberta.

11 Avg Asking Rents Roomsmate Rentals for Selected Prov June 202312 Avg Ask Rent for Roommate Rents June 2023 Data

The data used in this analysis is based on monthly listings from the Network of Internet Listings Services (ILS). This data differs from the numbers collected and published by the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The Network of ILS’s data covers both the primary and secondary rental markets and includes basement apartments, rental apartments, condominium apartments, townhouses, semi-detached houses, and single-detached houses. CMHC’s primary rental data only includes purpose-built rental apartments and rental townhouses. CMHC also collects data on secondary market rentals, but this is reported separately.

CMHC’s rental rates are based on the entire universe of purpose-built rental units (rental stock), regardless of rental tenure. CMHC rental rates are reflective of what the average household spends on rental housing and not the current market rents for vacant units. The data used in this report is based on the asking rates of available (vacant) units only and reflect on-going trends in the market. This covers a smaller sample size but is more representative of the actual market rent a prospective tenant would encounter. The Network of ILS’s data typically provides much higher rental rates compared to CMHC, as vacant units typically reset to market rates when not subject to rent control.

The average and median rental rates in this report can also skew higher than CMHC’s data for the following reasons: the inclusion of larger more expensive unit types such as single-family homes, townhouse units, and large luxury condominium units; the presence of duplicate or multiple listings at the same property and the survivorship bias where more expensive or over-priced units take longer to lease and remain in the sample longer.

Properties listed for greater than $5,000 per month, and less than $500 per month are removed from the sample. Similarly, short-term rentals, single-room rentals, and furnished suites are removed from the sample when identifiable.