Average rent prices hit a record high in June, driven higher by strong population growth and continued demand outpacing new supply.
The average asking price for a rental unit rose to $2,042 in June, surpassing the previous record set in November 2022 of $2,024, according to new data from Rentals.ca’s Rent Report. This represented a 1.4% increase from May—the fastest monthly rise so far this year—and a 7.5% jump in prices compared to a year ago.
Rental prices have now rebounded by nearly 23% from the low of $1,662 reached in April 2021.
“Rent inflation re-accelerated in June as the Canadian rental market entered into the busy summer season, with each of the country’s largest cities posting double-digit annual increases,” noted Shaun Hildebrand, president of Toronto real estate research firm Urbanation.
“Expect further upward pressure on rents in the near-term as the market moves through its peak period of the year and demand continues to strongly outstrip new supply,” he added.
Despite rental apartment completions currently running at multi-decade highs, it’s still not enough to keep pace with the strong demand, driven in part by record-high population growth.
As of the second quarter, Canada’s population has grown by more than 1.2 million people, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. The population grew by more than 290,000 in Q1 alone, including over 145,400 new immigrants. That’s the highest rate of growth in the first quarter since comparable data became available in 1972.
And that’s having an impact on housing and rental unit demand, which is far outpacing new supply. The data show that the markets seeing the fastest rates of population growth are also seeing the largest rental price increases.
Alberta leads the provinces in rent price growth
Alberta once again led the provinces with the fastest year-over-year increase in rent prices, which were up 18.3% to $1,522. Quebec was next with average year-over-year rent growth of 11.6% to $1,883.
On a month-over-month basis, rents were up the most in British Columbia (+3.5%), Manitoba (+2.6%) and Alberta (+2%).
Calgary overtakes Montreal with rents exceeding $2,000
Of Canada’s largest rental markets, Calgary saw prices jump 18% year-over-year to exceed $2,000 a month for the first time, Rentals.ca reported. It has now overtaken Montreal as the fourth-most expensive rental market in the country.
The country’s two most expensive markets—Vancouver and Toronto—saw annual rent increases of 15.7% and 15.4%, respectively.
The municipality with the largest year-over-year rent price growth was Scarborough (+27.8%), followed by Brampton, ON (+25.8%) and Burnaby, BC (+22%).
Here’s a look at the year-over-year rent increases in some of the country’s key markets:
- Calgary, AB: +18.4% ($2,008)
- Toronto, ON: +15.7% ($2,813)
- Vancouver, B.C.: +15.4% ($3,301)
- Ottawa, ON: +15.3% ($2,146)
- Winnipeg, MB: +12.2% ($1,529)
- Montreal, QC: +11.2% ($1,931)
- Regina, SK: +6.8% ($1,140)
- Halifax, NS: +5.3% ($1,973)