Will The Frustrations Facing The Current Rental Market Get Worse Before They Get Better?

Been apartment hunting in Vancouver lately? Join the hundreds of would be tenants who are frustrated with the current rental market as there are very few vacancies, and rents have soared over the past year. It’s simple economics – there is more demand than supply currently available in the Greater Vancouver area. Canada’s population last year grew than by more than 1 million last year, and a large portion can be attributed to the influx of immigrants into the country.

In Vancouver, the vacancy rate for purpose built rental units is 0.9%. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), demand, especially in BC, is being driven by a number of factors:

  • The increase in mortgage rates pushing home ownership farther and farther out of reach for many families.
  • An inflow of new residents from other parts of the country and overseas.
  • BC’s population is growing faster than that of any other province.

Rental rates in Vancouver are one of the highest in Canada, and these rates are higher by over 20% when compared to last year.

A new report released by RBC Canada stated that there is a deficit of 30,000 rental units nationwide, and this is expected to soar to 120,000 units within the next 3 years unless some drastic measures are taken to increase the rental stock.

While the City of Vancouver is increasing the pace of rental focused buildings, according to Jeff Francis of Oakwyn Realty, it may be too little too late, as he laments “…when you are waiting for 18-plus months to get an approval (to build), you’re looking at three to four years before you can actually get people into these units.”

Clearly the provincial government must move faster on reforming the Municipalities Act on some meaningful housing and zoning reform, but this will not happen overnight as is the case with any government policy reform.

Meanwhile, the government of Canada is continuing its policy of increasing the intake of immigrants – 500,000 per year – into this country to address the labor shortage problem. This will certainly put more pressure on the housing and rental market in this city. The next few years will be crucial for the rental market.

We have a number of exclusive rental properties that we manage. Click here to get a complete listing of all our rental properties.

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