Average rent for 2-bedroom suite nears $1,800 in Victoria

Renters seeking a two-bedroom apartment can expect to shell out almost $1,800 a month for a place to live in Victoria, according to the latest data from Rentals.ca.

In its monthly Canadian rental report, the house-hunting website says the average asking price for a two-bedroom suite in Victoria in June was $1,774, up 1.6 per cent from the comparable figure in May.

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The average going rate for a one-bedroom apartment in Victoria was $1,406, up 2.8 per cent from May.

That made Victoria the 16th-most- expensive rental market in the country last month.

The website says the average asking price for a two-bedroom suite in Vancouver in June was $2,833, the highest in the country. The average asking price for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver was $1,990, the second-highest in the country behind Toronto ($2,266).

Other B.C. centres listed on Rental.ca’s national rent rankings, are: Burnaby at No. 11 ($1,556 for one bedroom, $2,326 for two bedrooms); New Westminster at No. 13 ($1,512, $1,944); and Kelowna at No. 15 ($1,430, $1,818).

Rentals.ca reports that nine of the 10 most expensive rental markets in Canada are in the Greater Toronto Area.

On a provincial level, Ontario had the highest rental rates in June, with landlords seeking $2,279 per month on average (all property types), an increase of 1.6 per cent from May ($2,244).

In B.C., the average asking rent was $1,852 per month, an increase of 3.1 per cent month-over-month.

The lowest provincial average was recorded in new Brunswick: $769.

According to the report, the average size of units for rent in Canada has been slowly trending downward since late last year, from 1,010 square feet in October 2018 to 933 square feet in June 2019.

The data reported by the website differs from the numbers collected and published by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

According to the website, “Rentals.ca data includes basement apartments, rental apartments, condominium apartments, townhouses, semi-detached houses and single-detached houses, where CMHC’s primary rental data only includes rental apartments and rental townhouses.

“CMHC does collect some data on the secondary market, but it is reported separately.”

The CMHC rental rates are based on the entire universe of purpose-built rental units in Canada (the stock), while Rentals.ca data is primarily based on the asking rents of vacated units only (the flow).

The website says its methods are“more representative of the actual market rent a prospective tenant encounters.”

The Rentals.ca data set typically produces much higher rental rates in comparison to those of CMHC, as vacated units are not subject to rent control.

The website says average and median rental rates via Rentals.ca can also skew higher than CMHC’s data for several reasons:

The inclusion of larger and more expensive unit types such as singles, row units and condos; the survivorship bias (overpriced units remain in the sample longer); and the multiple listings of the same property at different rent levels every month.

Properties listed for more than $5,000 a month or below $500 a month are eliminated from the sample of units analyzed. Short-term leases, single-room rentals, and furnished rental units are eliminated from the sample where identifiable, the website says.

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