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Where Are Rents Rising And Getting Cheaper Across Canada?

11/09/2015 02:36 EST | Updated 11/09/2016 05:12 EST
benedek via Getty Images
Residential district in the Cabbagetown neighborhood of downtown Toronto.

Regardless of your motivation, renting is a great option for many of us across the country. Affordability and convenience are just a couple reasons why people prefer this option and others just like the change of scenery and inspiration that a new neighbourhood can offer. While certain cities like Toronto seem to defy real estate logic (the crash has been "coming" for a decade now) here are some of the cities in Canada with the greatest increases and decreases in housing rental costs. Based on the most recent information published by the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CHMC), here are the cities across the country where rent is rising and where prices are falling for rental housing options.

On average, the vacancy rental rate for each province has decreased since the start of 2014, with British Columbia and P.E.I showing the greatest decreases by percentage. The rental vacancy rate is an important statistic which refers to the percentage of rental housing units that is currently available. By comparing the change in availability with the demand and social trends, we can begin to predict which direction the average cost of renting a home or apartment will go.

Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal:

You can't talk about Canadian real estate without mentioning the big 3, from the West Coast to East, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal show no signs of slowing down. There continues to be an increase of wealthy new Canadians (some moving here from abroad) with the funds to purchase high-end homes and condo opportunities, making it difficult for middle class families to keep up with the surging increases. It will be interesting to see how freshly introduced policies from the new Prime Minister will affect Canadians on a daily basis, but until then, don't expect any price breaks on real estate in these cities.

This new INFOGRAPHIC by Canadian Apartment Finder - RentSeeker.ca shows the average cost of a two bedroom apartment in 35 of Canada's largest centres.

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Saint John:

This beautiful city on the East Coast is slowly becoming slightly less affordable when compared to last year, though it should be noted that the vacancy rate nearly doubled from 2011-2012, making it a great city for rental housing options, plus the scenery is truly remarkable.

Barrie

The boom continues for Barrie, offering lake side living and a natural choice for many who choose to work in the GTA but prefer to be in a more natural setting. Vacancy rates have dropped steadily and driving up the demand for apartment rental options. Between 2013 to 2014 we saw a vacancy rate drop from 3.0 to 1.6, and with minimal new projects in the works, don't expect prices to drop.

Calgary

Believe it or not, but Calgary had the highest average price for a two bedroom apartment in 2014, and don't expect numbers to fall.

Victoria

They call it Beautiful BC for a reason, and the demand for housing and rental options is getting more and more difficult to come by. Don't expect anything but increases in rental prices over the next few years.

Moncton

After a large increase from 2011 to 2013 (4.3 to 9.1), there are more housing options than ever before. Expect prices to remain at lower rates than many have experience in nearly half a decade.

Hamilton

Don't expect any price discounts here. Over the last few years this city has continually expanded with new businesses and residents, and the rental vacancy rate is at it's lowest point in a decade.

Windsor

From 2010 to 2014, the vacancy rental rate (VRR) plummeted from 10.9 to 4.3. As the demand continues to exceed available options, pricing will continue to rise as the Greater Toronto area continues to expand and families look for more affordable options outside of the city.

Kelowna

From 2012 to 2014, the VRR dropped sharply from 4.0 to 1.0, making this city one of the most in demand places to live in Canada. Why? Do a Google Images search and it's a pretty simple answer. Don't expect prices to go anywhere but up as the VRR remains one of the lowest in the country.

Edmonton

The VRR has remained steady for the culture capital of Alberta, and with new housing projects underway, we may see a slight drop in rental prices as builders continue to create new house and apartment rental units for the large number of temporary workers.

Gatineau

This is one of the few cities that saw an increase in VRR from 2013 to 2014, so you can expect some deals as property owners look to fill vacant rental units, and with a current VRR of 6.5, there are more rental options by percentage than in most cities in the country.

Greater Sudbury

As one of the only cities in Southern Ontario to have an increase in VRR over the last few years, there are more affordable housing options and the lowered demand has brought down prices accordingly.

Regardless of which city in this amazing country you want to call home, finding the perfect rental property is much easier than it used to be. Apartment finder websites allow you to experience potential rental options without having to make the trip in person, offering virtual tours and property videos, and 3-D floor plans, can give you a great sense of the community. While the real estate market may be scary, finding a new place to call home doesn't' have to be.

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