Average rent jumps in Vancouver as pandemic restrictions ease

As COVID-19 mandates are relaxed, renters head back to more expensive cities

Rent for a one-bedroom unit in Vancouver increased 15.3% year-over year | Photo: Thomas Winz, Getty Images

Vancouver continues to have the highest rent in Canada for both one- and two-bedroom apartments, according to new data from Zumper, and the costs keep increasing as renters move back into the city away from less expensive markets.

Over the past year, rent for a one-bedroom unit in the city increased 15.3%, reaching $2,190 in March. The average two-bedroom rent was $3,020, which is a year-over-year increase of 14.8%.

Meanwhile, less expensive cities saw decreases as renters moved away. Abbotsford had one of the biggest decreases in Canada for one-bedroom apartments, with an average drop of 3.6%, dipping to $1,340.

“More than half of the nation’s largest monthly and year-over-year rent spikes were located in the top 10 most expensive markets, signaling a return of renters to the pricier Canadian cities as COVID restrictions ease,” Zumper said in its report. “There was a lot of movement in the top markets, with Kelowna moving past Victoria to become the 3rd priciest city.

“The more affordable half of the Canadian cities stayed relatively stable.”

Toronto had the country’s second-highest rents, at $1,900 (up 8.6% over the past year) and $2,400 (up 2.1%) for one- and two-bedroom apartments, respectively. 

Zumper tracks median rents for all homes that are currently available to rent or are vacant. It does not include those homes that are already rented out. 

The top 10 highest rents across Canada in March (source: Zumper):

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ecrawford@biv.com