Two-bedroom Vancouver rentals now $1,000 more than in Toronto

Sep 14 2016, 6:33 pm

In news that will surprise no one, apartment hunting website PadMapper has found Vancouver still has the most expensive rentals in Canada.

According to PadMapper’s September report on Canadian rentals, the median rent for a two-bedroom place in Vancouver is now $2,680.

That’s $1,000 more expensive than a two-bedroom home in Toronto, which cost you $1,680.

But if those figures feel like they’re skyrocketing, think again.

It turns out two-bedroom rental rates are actually down 1.5% in Vancouver and down 2.3% in Toronto since July, according to Padmapper.

As for one-bedroom places in Vancouver, they are going through the roof. According to Padmapper, the median rent is now $1,750, up 2.9% from July.

Meanwhile in Toronto, the median rent for a one-bedroom home is $1,310, actually down 1.5% compare with rent in July.

It’s worth noting, the median rent for a two-bedroom home in Toronto does not even cover the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver.

Will empty homes tax help?

Of course, there’s the age-old rule of supply and demand, and with Vancouver rental availability rates stuck at 0.6%, among the lowest in Canada, it’s no surprise rents are still skyrocketing.

So why is Vancouver’s long-term rental stock so low? The City of Vancouver believes it may be at least in part down to the number of empty homes sitting unoccupied.

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In a bid to get more homes back into the rental market, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has announced a proposed tax on empty homes may be implemented in 2017.

The new tax, which would only apply to rarely used properties in the City of Vancouver, could be between 0.5% and 2% of the assessed property value.

“It is a crisis… It’s increasingly difficult to stay here,” said Robertson. “We expect this [tax] to be an important tool to start the shift to get rental housing to people who desperately need it.”

A full report outlining possible scenarios for the tax is set to go to Council next week. If approved, there will then be a consultation process with homeowners.

And maybe, just maybe, you’ll one day be able to find an apartment that doesn’t break the bank. Maybe.

Top 5 most expensive rental markets in Canada

  1. Vancouver: one-bedroom $1,750, two-bedroom $2,680
  2. Toronto: one-bedroom $1,310, two-bedroom $$1,680
  3. Victoria: one-bedroom $1,080, two-bedroom $1,340
  4. Calgary: one-bedroom $1,060, two-bedroom $1,260
  5. Montreal: one-bedroom $1,030, two-bedroom $1,260