The rental sector is a key aspect of Canada’s housing landscape. It provides accommodation options for individuals, couples, and families. Being up to date with the latest rental statistics is important for Canadian policymakers, tenants, and investors. Through rental statistics, we can gain insight into affordability, market trends, and regional variations.
In this article, we have collated all the latest statistics on the rental market in Canada. You will find information on average rents across the country, how much rents have risen in the last year, and the percentage of Canadians who live in rented accommodation among other key statistics.
Renting Statistics for Canadians
- Rents for 1-bed apartments increased by 13.03% and 2-bed apartments by 10.7% between June 2022 and June 2023.
- The average rent was up by 6.5% between March 2023 and May 2023.
- Vancouver is the most expensive city to rent in Canada, with an average rent of $2,831 for a 1-bed apartment per month.
- Eight out of ten places with the highest rents in Canada are in Ontario.
- Grand Prairie, AB, is one of the cheapest cities to rent in Canada with $1,023 per month for a 1-bed apartment.
- Alberta’s rental costs are increasing the fastest but rents are still 22% below the national average.
- One-third of Canadians are renters.
- Over 30% of renters in Canada are Millennials.
- Almost 60% of people who have immigrated to Canada in the last five years are renting.
- Over 40% of homes built between 2016 and 2021 are occupied by renters.
- In Quebec, 61.3% of new homes are rented.
- Over half of the Canadian downtown condos are occupied by renters in Canada.
The Rental Market in Canada
The prices of rented homes have been on the rise in Canada, raising concerns about affordability. In a year, the average rent of 1-bed apartments has increased by 13.03% across the country, while the average rent of 2-bed apartments has gone up by 10.7%.
While some areas saw small decreases in prices between May and June this year, overall, the prices still increased between the two months. The increase was 0.79% for 1-bed apartments and 0.65% for 2-bed apartments. The increases mean that the average cost of a 1-bed apartment in Canada is $1,828 per month and a 2-bed apartment $2,243 per month.
The average price for a condominium was $2,236 in May 2023, up by 2% since May 2022. Rental prices of houses and townhouses were up by 3.1% in a year, increasing the average rent to $2,231. Overall, the average monthly rent across all types was $2,014, representing a 6.5% increase since last year.
Because of the expensive rents in Canada, 44% of Canadians spend more than a third of their monthly income on housing. In addition, 15% spend more than half of their income on rent. Younger Canadians are more likely to spend a bigger portion of their income on housing. 32% of people under 55 spend over 30% on housing, while 59% of people over 55 spend 30% or less on housing.
How Much Have Rents Increased in Canada?
The average rent in Canada is now $249 more per month than it was in May 2019 and $319 more than in May 2021, following several months of decreased rental prices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the cost of renting is still going up, the growth rate has slowed down and was just 6.5% from March 2023 to May 2022. A considerably smaller increase than the 12.4% increase from September 2022 to November 2022.
Vancouver Has The Most Expensive Rent in Canada
According to the latest rental statistics from June 2023 by Rentals.ca, Vancouver has the most expensive rental prices in Canada, with a 1-bed apartment costing $2,831 per month on average. The rent for a 2-bed apartment is $3,666 on average.
The rents for 1-bed apartments went up by 1.6% between May and June and 16% in a year. The price increase of 2-bed apartments hasn’t been as steep at 8.7% in a year and the average rent decreased by 2% between May and June.
Ontario Has The Most Areas on The List of Most Expensive Rents
While Vancouver has the most expensive rental market, Ontario is the most expensive province, with over three times more cities on the expensive rents list than any other province or territory.
Toronto has the most expensive rents in Ontario with 1-bed apartments renting for $2,538 per month on average and 2-bed apartments for $3,286. Since June 2022, rents have gone up by 17.5% for 1-bed apartments and by 12.4% for 2-bed apartments. The change from May to June was up by 0.5% for 1-bed apartments and down by 0.1% for 2-bed apartments.
Other places from Ontario that are in the top ten of the highest rents in Canada are Mississauga, Vaughan, Burlington, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, and Guelph. The rents range from $2,095 in Guelph to $2,312 in Mississauga for 1-bed apartments. Apart from Vancouver, the only other place not in Ontario in the top ten is Burnaby, BC, where 1-bed apartments rent for an average of $2,366 per month.
Alberta and Saskatchewan Have Some of The Cheapest Cities to Rent
Many of the cheaper cities to rent a home in Canada are found in Alberta and Saskatchewan. In Grand Prairie, AB, the average rent for a 1-bed apartment is $1,023, and for a 2-bed apartment $1,226 per month.
However, the city saw the biggest monthly increase in the average rent for 2-bed apartments among the 35 cities included in the Rentals.ca comparison. The average 2-bed apartment rent increased by 3.6% from May to June. 1-bed apartment rents went up, too, by 1.2%.
The other top ten cities with cheaper rents are Regina, SK, Saskatoon, SK, Lethbridge, AB, Edmonton, AB, Quebec City, QC, Red Deer, AB, Winnipeg, MB, Calgary, AB, and Montreal, QC. On average, rents in these cities for 1-bed apartments range from $1,079 in Regina, to $1,657 in Montreal. 2-bed apartment averages were between $1,327 and $2,172.
Alberta’s Rental Prices Are Rising Faster Than the Average
Alberta may have some of the cheapest rents at the moment but it is seeing the largest increases in the cost of rented homes in Canada. Prices of condominiums and purpose-built apartments in the province grew by 13.4% in a year. However, the average rent is still 22% lower than the Canadian average.
A Third of Canadians Live in Rented Accommodation
According to the 2021 census, the number of Canadians who are renting their home has grown by 21.5% since 2011. During the same period, the number of homeowners grew by just 8.4%. In 2021, there were 5 million renter households, up from 4.1 million from ten years ago. This means that 33.1% of Canadians are now living in rented accommodation.
Among Canadian metropolitan areas, the growth rate of renter households was the fastest in Kelowna, BC. The growth in Kelowna was 54.1%, considerably higher than the average. The slowest rate was in Saguenay, QC, where the number of renter households grew by 7.2%. Between the last two censuses, the number of renters grew faster than the number of homeowners in all 41 large urban centres in Canada.
Millennials Make Up Almost 1/3 of Canada’s Renters.
While younger Canadians are more likely to rent than older Canadians, renting is up in all age groups. Over 80% of 25-29-year-olds, over 60% of 30-34-year-olds and almost 50% of 35-39-year-olds are renting in Canada.
While the portions are smaller among older Canadians, approximately 25% of over 60-year-olds were renting in 2021 and Canadians aged 65 and over now represent 22% of rented households compared to 19% in 2011. Millennials are the largest renter group at 32.6% of all renters.
Immigrants Are More Likely to Rent Than the Average
Newcomers to Canada are likely to rent for five to ten years after arriving in Canada. In 2018, there were one million recent immigrants living in Canada (people who had been in the country for less than five years). 56% of these recent immigrants were living in rented accommodation, which is a significantly larger proportion than the national portion of renters.
New Homes Are Increasingly Likely to Be Rented
Between 2016 and 2021, the fastest-growing building type in Canada was high-rise apartment buildings. These numbers grew by 14.7% compared to 6.4% of overall private dwellings and now account for 34.4% of all dwellings in Canada.
Since 2016, 40.4% of new dwellings are rented. It is the second-highest percentage since the 1960s when approximately 45% of new dwellings were occupied by renters. The portion of people renting new-built homes has been growing steadily in Canada since the millennium but rose faster between 2015 and 2021. In 2011-2015, just under 30% of new dwellings were rented, meaning the rate has increased by over 10% since then.
Millennials make up the largest age group living in new homes. They represent 36.6% of occupants, including both rented and owned apartments. The second largest group was Generation X at 28%, followed by Baby Boomers at 24.3%.
Almost Two-Thirds of New Homes in Quebec and Halifax Are Rented
Across Canada, there are cities where the portions of rented new homes are higher than the national average. In Quebec, 61.3% of homes built between 2016 and 2021 are rented and 60.7% are rented in Halifax.
In Montreal, the portion was 55.1%, which was the highest among the three largest cities in Canada. It was followed by Toronto with 43.4% and Vancouver with 42.6%. The lowest portions among cities with a million or more residents were in Edmonton at 29.9% and Calgary at 31.2%.
Over Half of Condominiums in Downtown Areas Are Rented
In Canada, one in six homes was a condo in 2021. However, in primary downtowns across the country, condos accounted for 39.9% of homes. In downtown areas, 50.1% of condos are rented compared to 37.3% of condos overall.
In Toronto, 64,8% of condos were in the downtown and 54% of them were rented, while in Vancouver, which had the second biggest percentage of downtown condos, 62.8% of them were in downtown and 53% were rented.
Most condos that are occupied by tenants are owned by individuals rather than corporations or other entities and are bought as investment properties. British Columbia had the highest rate of condos being rented out by individuals at 77.1%. Ontario was next with a rate of 69.1%.
Renting is becoming increasingly common in Canada, with 33.1% of the population now living in rented accommodation. Because of the rising prices of rental properties, 44% of Canadians spend more than a third of their income and 15% spend more than half of their income on rent. However, after over 10% increases in 2022, the rate rents are rising has slowed down in 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
Rents in Canada vary depending on where you live. In Vancouver, which has the highest rents, the average rent for a 1-bed apartment is over $2,800 and for a 2-bed apartment, it is over $3,600. However, there are still many places in Canada where you can find cheaper rental properties. For example, in the province of Alberta, rents are 22% cheaper than the national average.
Rents in Canada have increased by approximately $250 per month since 2019. Between March and May 2023, rents increased by 6.5%.
According to the 2021 census, there are around 5 million rented households in Canada, meaning 33.1% of Canadians were living in rented accommodation.