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Opinion: These are the mediocre Burnaby suites going for outrageous sums

Old. Dark. Cramped. But very, very pricey.

I was a landlord myself a few years ago and it was a difficult experience.

The tenants were nice, but I hated the part where I had to come up with the price to charge for rent.

It always felt way too high, but I wasn’t the only person involved and so I had to compromise. I hope that I don’t have to go through this again.

So I do have some sympathy for Burnaby landlords, but not a lot. Right now they are able to charge extraordinary amounts and I have no idea how local residents are able to afford them.

And we’re not talking about luxury units here – some, like the place pictured above, are downright mediocre and yet being advertised for outrageous sums. The place picture is just 750 square feet, but is being advertised for nearly $2,000 a month.

Oh, at least cats are welcome there.

Jeebus.

I saw another listing on Craigslist for a place near Metrotown that is a microscopic 540 square feet that is available for 2,150 – and electricity is not even included.

Scroll through the photos above and you’ll see a kitchen in an Edmonds-area unit that is just 850 square feet, but renting for a whopping $2,250 a month.

A recent report by Rentals.ca says that Burnaby finished fourth on the list for average monthly rent in March for a one-bedroom home at $1,959 and sixth for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $2,398. 

Year over year, average monthly rent in March for a one-bedroom in Burnaby was up 16.5 per cent and up 9.9 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Average rent for all Canadian properties listed on Rentals.ca in March was $1,818 per month, an increase of 6.6 per cent annually, according to the Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting latest National Rent Report.

Bullpen Research & Consulting and Rentals.ca expect rents to continue to rise as the country returns to normal. But it remains to be seen how inflation, supply chain issues, the effects of BA.2 and other sub variants of omicron, and the recent Bank of Canada rate changes will impact the economy and the rental market.

Vancouver average rents for all property types continue to outpace other Canadian cities, rising 29.9 per cent year over year in March to a high of $2,925.

Vancouver topped the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in March for a one-bedroom home at $2,280 and for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $3,122.  

Year over year, average monthly rent in March for a one-bedroom in Vancouver was up 13.9 per cent and up 17.6 per cent for a two-bedroom. Month over month, average rent in Vancouver was up 1.8 per cent for a one-bedroom and up 2.4 per cent for a two-bedroom.

British Columbia remains the most expensive provinces for median rent for all property types, with rents up 18.9 per cent to $2,200 per month in March.

Studio units and one-bedroom units in British Columbia are among the most expensive in terms of average rent per-square-foot. Studio units in British Columbia had an average rent per-square-foot of $3.74 in the first quarter of 2022, while one-bedroom units in British Columbia had an average rent per-square-foot of $3.28.

Best of luck to all of the renters out there.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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