If you're on the hunt for a rental in one of Canada's biggest cities, continue to brace yourself for lofty prices and tight competition. 

According to a new National Rent Report by Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting, the average rent across all property types in Canada was $1,934 in July, up 10.4% since last year. This is similar to what we saw in June when national average rents rose 9.5% year over year (YoY). The July average was also up 2.6% since June. July's average is only $20 below the pre-pandemic peak -- $1,954 in September 2019.

The median rental rate was also up in July, sitting at $1,799 per month, compared to $1,750 the month prior and $1,649 the year prior.

"The 2.6% monthly increase in average rents in Canada is the second highest monthly jump in three years, topped only by the 3.8% rise in May 2022," says Ben Myers, President of Bullpen Research & Consulting. "Rents were boosted by rent growth of 20% and higher in several major municipalities in Canada, and double-digit growth in a number of the most affordable rental markets, such as Red Deer and Saskatoon."

Of all Canadian provinces, BC had the highest average rents across all property types -- $2,590 in July, up 19% from last year and 0.6% from last month. Ontario trailed behind with an average of $2,332 in July, up 15.2% since last year and 3.1% since last month. Average rents were also up YoY in all other provinces except Manitoba, where rents were essentially unchanged. 

On a month-over-month (MoM) basis, Manitoba and Nova Scotia joined BC and Ontario in seeing increases, while Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia saw decreases.

On a local level, Victoria saw the most notable rental rate increase across all property types at 27% YoY. Other notable YoY increases included Hamilton (26%), Kitchener (25%), Burnaby, Toronto and London (24%), Mississauga (19%), Calgary (18%), Vancouver (16%), and Red Deer (13%). On the flip side, average rents in Winnipeg fell by 1%.

Challenging Conditions for GTA Renters

Out of 35 cities, Toronto had the fourth highest rental rates in all of Canada. A one-bedroom in the city was $2,257 in July, up 21.6% YoY and 4% MoM. Meanwhile, a two-bedroom in the city was $3,259 in July, up 25% YoY and 7.8% MoM.

Additionally, Etobicoke had the fourth-highest rental rate in all of Canada, North York has the ninth-highest, and Mississauga had the tenth-highest.

When you break down rents based on property types, single-family homes were the priciest in terms of rent, with an average monthly rate of $3,043 in July. That price is up 14.1% since last year and $391 since January. Townhouses had an average of $2,465 per month, up by 17.3% YoY, and rental apartments had an average of $1,743, up by 7.7% YoY. Rental apartments make up the majority of listings on Rental.ca. 

The report notes that, in general, condos are renting for a significant premium over apartments. Additionally, it attributes rental rates in the single-family home segment to investors.

"With higher home prices, and higher interest rates helping to increase demand in the rental market, some investors are seeing this as an opportunity to rent out more single-family properties," the report explains. "Despite worries of large corporations buying many single-family houses to rent, less than 6% of all rental properties listed on Rentals.ca are single-family dwellings, up from 2021, but virtually unchanged from 2020. But record-high rents for single-family homes in 2022 will attract more investors if house prices in the resale market continue to decline."