With rental vacancies still incredibly tight and new rent control caps coming into play, the price of advertised rents in major B.C. cities are climbing way above inflation, a new study has found.
According to the January 2019 monthly report by rental website PadMapper, the median advertised rent for a one-bed apartment in Burnaby in December 2018 soared by 9.8 per cent year over year to $1,570 a month.
The median two-bedroom advertised rent in Burnaby in December was up 6.5 per cent from the same month in 2017, to $2,290.
Burnaby has for some time been the third-priciest rental market in the country, after Toronto and Vancouver, according to the website.
Vancouver’s one-bed rents have increased by 6.5 per cent year over year, to $2,130. That’s the second highest in Canada after Toronto’s $2,260 – a whopping 11.9 per cent annual rise.
An even-steeper annual increase was seen in Victoria, where median one-bed advertised rents are up 15.8 per cent to $1,390. That is the fifth-priciest in Canada, after fourth-placed Montréal, where one-bed advertised rents rose 14.5 per cent year over year to $1,500.
As PadMapper uses only its own listings to calculate median rents, its results can vary month to month.
The allowable annual rent hike that B.C. landlords can impose on sitting tenants has been two per cent plus inflation, which in 2018 totalled four per cent. As of 2019, this allowable increase is reduced to inflation only, set at 2.5 per cent for 2019.
However, this does not include any increases to rents on advertised units between tenancies, which are the prices captured by PadMapper. Rental price increases between tenancies are currently at the discretion of the landlord and are not government controlled.
A combination of rising costs and taxes, and the incoming rent-control cap, could be the reason for the spike in advertised rents in December.
PadMapper said in its nationwide report, “In terms of year-over-year changes, a majority of rents (17 out of 24 [Canadian cities surveyed]) saw double-digit growth rates between one and two bedroom prices. It seems Canada remains a hot market for rentals as we begin the new year and isn’t showing signs of slowing down.”