Free rent offered as move-in incentive at these Vancouver properties

Jan 25 2021, 12:26 pm

Vancouver continues to be one of the country’s most notoriously expensive cities to rent in, but several buildings are offering rarely seen move-in incentives to entice potential tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic threw a monkey wrench into the rental market in Canada,” Rentals.ca says in its latest report.

And as a result, supply has increased and demand has decreased. Some of the specific causes of this reversal are as follows:

  • Immigration has all but stopped
  • International students are not here to rent units
  • Many university and college students are taking classes online and not renting units near their schools
  • Jobs — especially in the lower income level — have been lost, causing renters to find less expensive places or move back in with family
  • Many people who are now working from home and need more space are moving from downtown condos and apartments to surrounding cities for more square footage for a lower price (this is especially true in Toronto)
  • With the country’s border closed since March, short-term rentals are being turned into long-term rentals, adding to supply
  • More new units are coming into the market
  • Some people are staying put and saving money because of the pandemic

As a result, “landlords have been forced to offer big incentives to entice tenants to their properties.”

And in Vancouver, the report states renters are finding most incentives on luxury units, downtown units, new units, and condos, while landlords with fewer units are offering incentives such as free parking or shorter leases.

According to the report, some of the biggest factors resulting from the pandemic were job loss for workers lower in the pay spectrum and a major decline in immigration.

“Most lower-income workers rent, and many (if not most) immigrants, international students, and temporary workers rent when they first arrive in Canada,” the report said. “These factors pulled significant demand from the market.”

In fact, in 2019, rental apartment listings in Vancouver accounted for 24% of the total available listings; in 2020, that share rose to 42%.

So for those in the market looking for a new spot, here are Vancouver rental units offering incentives, according to rentals.ca:

  •  930 Seymour Street
    • First month free. Select Suites, 12+ Month Leases, Move in by February 1.
  • 2485 Balaclava Street
    • One month of free rent plus Parthenon gift card of $250, and a Starbucks gift card of $50.

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