The average rent for all property types across Canada in August 2022 was $1,959 per month, representing an annual increase of 11.1%. The average rent is up 1.3% monthly, and 16.8% from the recent market low of $1,676 per month in April 2021.
1. National Overview
The chart below shows the average monthly rent for single-family housing, townhouses, apartments, condominium apartments, and basement apartments cumulatively from January 2020 to August 2022 (red line, right axis), with the annual change in average rent below (grey bars, left axis).
Average Rent by Property Type and Month
The chart below shows the average rent for single-family homes, condominium apartments and rental apartments in August of 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The average rent for single-family homes in August 2022 was $3,061 per month, which is 13% higher than August 2021. Rent per-square-foot (psf) was $1.73 in August of this year, compared to $1.61 in August 2020, and $1.78 in August 2020.
The average rent for condo apartments was higher this August versus last August at $2,312 per month versus $2,155. The rent per-square-foot was exactly the same at $2.90. It should be noted that not all properties on Rentals.ca have their square footage included with their listing, so the sample size is smaller and skews high because unit sizes are more likely known in newer buildings and properties.
The average rent for traditional rental apartments was $1,729 per month in August 2022, up 5.5% annually, compared to increases of 2.6% and 4.4% in August over the previous two years. The rent per-square-foot was virtually unchanged at $2.34.
Average Rent by Bedroom Type
The next chart presents data on the average rent by bedroom type for all property types in Canada based on Rentals.ca listings for the months of June, July and August over the last three years. The average annual change is marked, and the colours correspond to those annual changes.
Studio units had an average rental rate of $1,358 per month in August 2022, representing an annual increase of 5.7%, and were $9 more expensive than last month on a national basis. One-bedroom units had an average rental rate of $1,628 per month, representing an annual increase of 3.4%, the lowest growth rate among the bedroom types shown above.
Two-bedroom units had an average rental rate of $2,038 per month, representing an annual increase of almost 10%, which is down from the 11.8% year-over-year jump in July 2021. Three-bedroom units had an average rental rate of $2,475 per month, representing an annual increase of 10.7%, the highest among the bedroom types and a 1% monthly jump. Four-bedroom units had an average rental rate of $3,138 per month, representing an average increase of 8.1%. Due to the wide range of offerings of four-bedroom units, the rent levels can be somewhat volatile, but rents did increase by 3.4% monthly.
Despite declining affordability, rental rates for the largest units in the market continue to see annual appreciation that is higher than the smaller suites. With more Canadians shut out of the ownership market due to higher interest rates, it is conceivable that there are more upper-middle class renters than there have been in previous years.
2. Provincial Overview
The map below shows the average rent for all property types by province in Canada. The bottom panel in the chart below presents data on the average rent in August 2021 and August 2022, as well as the annual change in rent.
British Columbia had the highest average rental rate at $2,578 per month in August 2022, an annual increase of almost 24%, after experiencing an annual increase of 4.2% a year earlier.
Nova Scotia had higher average rents based on all property types in August 2022, as rental rates in that province have skyrocketed, increasing by 43% year over year. Ontario followed closely behind in third, with an average rental rate of $2,367 per month, representing a year-over-year increase of 15.7% — rents in August of 2021 were down 1.1% annually.
Rental Apartments in Ontario and Nova Scotia
The sample size of listings on Rentals.ca in Nova Scotia is much smaller than the sample size in Ontario, and the data can be skewed by the shift in the composition of units year to year. The average unit size in Nova Scotia got much larger in August 2022 compared to a year earlier, as there were more single-family rentals for lease.
The next chart is a more apples-to-apples comparison of the two provinces, looking at the average rent for one- and two-bedroom rental apartments over the last couple of years.
Both provinces experienced strong rent growth in 2019. But during the pandemic, Ontario rents plummeted, while Nova Scotia rents continued to rise. Rents for two-bedroom apartments in Ontario declined by 8% from August 2019 to August 2020, while Nova Scotia rents increased by 8%. Fast forward to August of 2022, two-bedroom apartments in Ontario have increased by 13% annually, while one-bedroom apartments have increased by 8%. In Nova Scotia in August 2022, two-bedroom apartments have increased to $2,203 per month, an annual growth rate of just under 18%, while one-bedroom apartments have increased by 17.5% year over year.
One-bedroom rental apartments have a lower rent in Ontario in August 2022 ($1,956 per month), in comparison to three year earlier ($2,052 per month). In Nova Scotia, a one-bedroom apartment is 51% higher in August 2022 compared to August 2019.
3. Municipal Rental Rates
Ranking of Municipalities (and former municipalities) by Rentals.ca Pageviews
What are the most popular cities in Canada on Rentals.ca? The chart below ranks these municipalities and former municipalities based on online pageviews per listing.
Given the substantial annual rent growth in British Columbia, it is not surprising that seven of the top 10 municipalities for popularity in the third quarter of 2022 (July and August only) are in that province, with Burnaby ranked first, followed by Vancouver in third and New Westminster in fourth. Vancouver has been ranked in the top five in each of the last nine quarters.
Waterloo was the highest ranked city in Ontario in second, followed by Toronto (old city boundaries) in eighth place, and Mississauga in 11th. This is the first time Toronto has cracked the top 10 since Rentals.ca began tracking this data in Q4-2018.
Before 2020, Montreal had cracked the top 10 municipalities in Canada in terms of pageviews per listing, but has consistently ranked 23rd to 25th over the last two and a half years. Much more ample supply in that market prevents any one listing from attracting a lot of viewers.
Areas where demand is cooling off include Ottawa, Hamilton and Kingston, while Calgary’s demand is picking up.
Municipal Rental Rates
The chart below presents data on the average rental apartment and condominium apartment rental rates by municipality and area in Canada for August 2022, with the annual percent change in average rent shown on the right (includes former municipality of Toronto prior to amalgamation).
Vancouver had the highest average rental rate for condominium and rental apartments at $3,184 per month, and the third highest annual rent inflation at 24.4%. London had the highest annual rent growth at 26.5%. Calgary had the second highest annual growth rate in average rent at 24.7%, significantly higher than Edmonton’s 7.8%.
Rents were virtually unchanged in Winnipeg, with growth of 0.2% annually to $1,357 per month on average.
Condo Rental Rates by Municipality
Condominium investors in Toronto and Vancouver saw rental rates plunge during the pandemic, with rates in old Toronto dropping to a low of $3.12 per-square-foot in early 2021, with Vancouver declining to $3.27 psf. Those rates have increased to $3.95 psf and $4.54 psf, respectively, up 27% in Toronto and 39% in Vancouver.
Condos for rent in Calgary are about $375 per month more expensive in August 2022 compared to just two years ago. The average rent per-square-foot was $1.64 in August 2020, rising 23% over the next 12 months. Over the past year, per-square-foot rents are up another 27% to $2.56.
Vancouver Rental Rates by Bedroom Count and Year
The next figure presents average pricing and average per-square-foot pricing by bedroom type for all Rentals.ca listings in Vancouver. The green circles represents the year-to-date averages for 2022, with the results showing substantial increases for all unit types.
The average studio in Vancouver was offered at $2,018 per month in 2022 in Vancouver, or $4.41 psf compared to 2020, when the average rent was $1,603 per month. One-bedroom units have averaged $2,358 per month this year, compared to $1,909 per month in 2020. Two beds are nearly $1,000 more on average than a one-bedroom at $3,311 or $3.69 psf, compared to $2,668 per month in 2020 or $3 psf.
There continues to be outsized rent growth in Canada, with the average listing on Rentals.ca nearly $200 more expensive than a year ago. The total number of listings on Rentals.ca is higher than one year ago, and the average listing is getting 38% more pageviews, suggesting significantly more demand than last year. This year’s listings received almost 70% more pageviews than the pandemic-impacted August 2020 figures.
With another interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada, potential buyers are further dissuaded from purchasing, sending more demand into the rental market. The hikes are having a negative impact on job growth, which could keep rents in check if young Canadians find themselves jobless.
Despite some negative economic data nationally, the $1,959 per month average rent in Canada is the highest tracked by Rentals.ca, topping the previous high of $1,954 in September 2019.
The data used in this analysis is based on monthly listings from Rentals.ca. The data is much different than the more familiar numbers collected and published by Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Rentals.ca data includes basement apartments, rental apartments, condominium apartments, townhouses, semi-detached houses and single-detached houses, where CMHC’s primary rental data only includes rental apartments and rental townhouses. CMHC collects some data on the secondary market, but it is reported separately.
The CMHC rental rates are based on the entire universe of purpose-built rental units in Canada (the stock), while Rentals.ca data is primarily based on the asking rents of vacated units only (the flow) — this is a smaller sample size, but more representative of the actual market rent a prospective tenant encounters. The Rentals.ca data set typically produces much higher rental rates in comparison to CMHC, as vacated units are not subject to rent control.
The average and median rental rates via Rentals.ca can also skew higher than CMHC’s data for several reasons: The inclusion of larger and more expensive unit types like singles, row units and condos; the survivorship bias (overpriced units remain in the sample longer); and the multiple listings of the same property at different rent levels every month.
It should also be noted that properties listed for above $5,000 a month and below $500 a month are eliminated from the sample of units analyzed. Also, short-term leases, single-room rentals, and furnished rental units are eliminated from the sample where identifiable.