While Vancouver may be easy on the eyes, living there doesn’t come cheap thanks to sky-high real estate prices. 

According to Rental.ca’s latest National Rent Report, rents in the infamously pricey west coast city are still the highest in Canada and are expected to increase up to 6% over the course of the next year. 

Like many parts of the country, Vancouver saw a pandemic-inspired drop in rent prices earlier this year. However, rents have climbed back in the direction of pre-pandemic levels from coast to coast, with Vancouver yet again taking the lead for overall rents. 

In what comes as no surprise, Vancouver topped a list of 35 Canadian cities for the most expensive rent recorded in November 2021. Across all property types, rent in Vancouver recorded a record increase of 12% compared to the same month the year before. 

Empty Homes Tax - Metro Vancouver

The cost of renting a one-bedroom home is on average $2,132 per month in Vancouver, while the cost of a two-bedroom is on average $2,998. According to the report, average rent for one-bedroom units in Vancouver was up 7.7% year-over-year, while two-bedrooms were up 10.7%. Month-over-month, however, average rents were down 3.8% for one-bedroom units and down 1.9% for two-bedroom units from October.

In news that adds insult to injury for Vancouver renters, rent prices are only expected to grow as we look ahead into the 2022, according to the report. The only silver lining is that the anticipated rent hikes aren’t as high as Toronto -- where prices are expected to climb a notable 11% -- or in Mississauga, where they’re expected to increase 7%. Vancouver’s rent hike does outpace the 5% expected in Montreal and 4% in Calgary. 

Another silver lining is that rents have been higher in Vancouver (so, there's that). According to the report, the city's average rent hit $2,507 in November 2019 before falling to an average of $2,301 in May 2020.

"Following a local peak in May 2020, Vancouver's average rent declined to $2,301 per month in November of last year and continued to decline throughout the course of the pandemic," reads the report's summary.

In fact, in the first and second quarters of 2020, Ontario maintained a higher average rental rate than BC. Since then, BC has consistently posted a higher average rental rate than Ontario. BC rents began to climb again this past summer, most notably, in Vancouver.

VancouverFalse Creek/Shutterstock

Like in Toronto, the defeating reality is that an increasing number of would-be first-time homebuyers will be stuck in Vancouver's rental market if they can't come up with hefty downpayment tabs (i.e. if they don't have affluent parents to foot the bill). Dishing out so many dollars just to rent a place inevitably makes saving for a place to one day own (if even a decade from now) all the more daunting.

Of course, relocating outside of Vancouver offers one way to save cash on rent.

According to the report, the prices are still notably lower outside of the downtown core: a one-bedroom averaged $1,696 per month in Burnaby; Victoria followed in 12th place, with one-bedrooms costing $1,695; a one-bedroom in Surrey averaged $1501 per month; and a one-bedroom in Westminster averaged $1,498 per month. 

Those who really want to save their precious pennies can always pack their bags for Lloydminster, Alberta -- ranked 35th on the list -- where the average price of a one-bedroom apartment is just $742 (at least, for now it is).

Real Estate News