Many Canadians are finding it more difficult to find housing that fits their budget with rents rising across the country.
The price hike is partly due to higher interest rates, which cool the home buying market, which in turn increases pressure on rents.
Here are five charts that show some of the numbers behind the problem.
After the declines caused by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, Canadian rental prices are starting to rise again. The median rent for all property listings on Rentals.ca for the second quarter of 2022 was $1,750, up 7 percent from the same period last year.
The listings include detached homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, condominium apartments, rental apartments and basement apartments.
The annual increase in the second quarter of 2022 continues the trend. Average rents nationwide have also risen year-on-year in the previous two quarters.
However, rental prices across Canada are yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, which saw median rent reach $1,825 in the last quarter of 2019.
British Columbia experienced the highest annual increase in average rent at around 25 per cent. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia has seen twofold increases throughout the pandemic. In 2021, the province’s business development agency launched a marketing campaign to attract remote workers. In 2022, the county attempted to impose a new tax on non-resident homeowners, but later backed down.
income for rent
Mortgage and Housing Canada defines “affordable” housing as shelter costs that are less than 30 percent of a household’s pre-tax income. Taking rent and utilities into account, CBC News has calculated how much a household would have to earn to keep the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment below that limit.
In Vancouver, where the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $3,597, a family would have to earn a gross income of more than $150,000 for this rent to be considered affordable. In Toronto, the family has to earn more than 135 thousand dollars.
Housing costs versus everything else
CPI analysis also gives an idea of how housing is affecting Canadians’ wallets. The Consumer Price Index measures changes over time in the prices of goods and services such as food, clothing, transportation, health care, entertainment, and of course, shelter.
While prices tend to increase over time in the economy, the cost of shelter has risen at a faster rate than anything else we buy.
Between 2002 and most of 2004, the cost of “everything else” rose at a rate higher than the cost of housing.
But in late 2004, the increase in housing costs began to outpace the increase in the cost of everything else. Except for a period in August and September 2005, this trend has continued since then.
Roommate Households Gaining Popularity
Some people have resorted to living with roommates or roommates to reduce rent costs. Roommate households—which StatsCan defines as two or more people living together and not part of a census family—are the fastest growing type of household in Canada.
While it still represents only a small percentage of all Canadian households (4 percent), the 663,835 households in 2021 represent a 54 percent increase from 2001.