COVID-19 can’t slow down skyrocketing Burnaby rents: report

Rents are staying “fairly high” in Burnaby despite COVID-19 driving down prices in many other Canadian areas, says a new report.

The average monthly asking rent for all property types in Canada was down 1.4% in May over April to $1,814, according to the latest National Rent Report from Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting.  

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to put downward pressure on the rental market nationally, with rent down 7.2% from the peak in September at $1,954 per month. 

But in Burnaby, the city still managed to come in 13th on the list of 34 cities for average monthly rent for a one-bedroom home at $1,611 and landed on the top-10-worst list for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $2,052.

At least we’re not Vancouver.

Vancouver finished second on the list for most expensive rents in May for a one-bedroom home at $2,022 and for a two-bedroom at $2,552. 

The average monthly rents in Vancouver were up in May after being down in April.

“We suspect some short-term rentals are being repurposed into long-term rentals, which is affecting the pricing in the rental market,” said a news release.

Average monthly rents increased in May over April in British Columbia by 2.1%.

Local Logic, which covers data on a number of Canadian real estate portals, found that in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) there was a slight decrease in the share of transit-friendly searches in May.

“This indicates that interest by renters in being near a transit centre is waning,” said the report.

“There was a significant increase in website traffic on Rentals.ca in May,” said Matt Danison, CEO of Rentals.ca. “It appears prospective tenants are doing their research to prepare for a move in the near future.” 

“This sharp drop in demand has resulted in landlords dropping their asking rents in most major markets across the country,” said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research and Consulting.

The National Rent Report charts and analyzes monthly, quarterly and annual rates and trends in the rental market on a national, provincial, and municipal level across all listings on Rentals.ca for Canada. This month's report charts rents for 34 cities across Canada. 

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