Canada’s average rents just saw their biggest drop in 3 years

Rent growth has stalled overall in recent months in Canada, with some of the country’s most expensive cities seeing annual declines in asking rents while other rental markets continue to see prices soar.

The latest rent report from Urbanation and for June shows the average asking rents across all property types fell 0.8 per cent from May, down to an average of $2,185.

The report noted this was the biggest month-to-month decline in rents since early 2021 — amid the COVID-19 pandemic — and marks a reversal of seasonal trends that usually see rents rising this time of year.

June’s annual increase of seven per cent is also the slowest yearly growth rate in rents in the past 13 months, according to and Urbanation’s tracking.

Recent months have shown a general cooling in the rental market, a marked contrast from the past few years of soaring rent tied to growing competition for units and a general lack of supply.

Rents have been “effectively flat” over the past three months, the report said, rising just 0.2 per cent on a national basis between March and June.

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Zooming in on particular cities and provinces tells a different story, however.

Average asking rents for condos and purpose-built rental apartments in Toronto fell three per cent to a 22-month low of $2,715, the report stated. Vancouver rents in the same category are still holding above $3,000 per month after rising 1.1 per cent on a monthly basis, but declined eight per cent year over year.

Rents have declined annually in the last five months in Toronto and the past seven months in Vancouver.

Rents in Montreal were up 4.3 per cent annually in June, edging out Calgary’s 4.2 per cent growth. Both cities reported average asking rents of just over $2,000 last month.

On a provincial basis, both Ontario and Quebec saw month-to-month decreases in rent, while British Columbia saw flat growth, the report said.

The story is different in the many parts of the Prairies and Atlantic Canada.

Edmonton was the leader for apartment rent growth among Canada’s six largest cities for a sixth consecutive month, the report said. Average asking rents rose 14.3 per cent to an average of $1,564 in June, a figure that still places the Albertan capital near the bottom of Urbanation and’s listings of 25 Canadian rental markets.

Regina saw an even larger jump at 22 per cent annually, followed by Quebec City at 19 per cent and Saskatoon at 17 per cent. Average asking rents range between $1,371 and $1,640 for these cities.

Experts who spoke to Global News recently said there are signs that rampant rental growth is set to stabilize in Canada, particularly in the country’s most expensive rental markets.

Desjardins economist Randall Bartlett explained that as renters are priced out of cities like Toronto and Vancouver, the exodus towards “more affordable pastures” sends them to relatively affordable markets like Alberta, where rents soar as competition intensifies for units.

He said that with the federal government’s plans to ease the flow of non-permanent residents into Canada, alongside efforts to build up the available rental supply, the pressure on rents should abate in the months ahead.

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