Average rents across Canada will increase six per cent in 2019 and by as much as 11 per cent in Toronto, nine per cent in Ottawa and seven per cent in Vancouver, according to the National Rent Report, released on Monday by Rentals.ca.
The good news for Alberta renters is that increases are only forecast to be four per cent for Calgary and zero for Edmonton in the coming year.
In a national rent ranking of the top 25 markets in Canada, Fort McMurray was listed as 19th most expensive rent, followed by Calgary at 20th and Edmonton at 24th in November.
One-bedroom rents averaged $1,256 in Fort Mac, $1,221 in Calgary and $1,066 in Edmonton. Two-bedroom rents were $1,421 in Fort Mac, $1,476 in Calgary, and $1,267 in Edmonton.
The averages for the 25 markets were $1,553 for one-bedroom units and $1,871 for two-bedroom units.
In Calgary, the federal agency said the apartment vacancy rate significantly decreased for the second consecutive year to 3.9 per cent in 2018 from 6.3 per cent in 2017.
In Edmonton, CMHC said the apartment vacancy rate was 5.3 per cent in October 2018, down 1.7 percentage points from last year.
Industry analyst Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting Inc. said a surge in demand has added to increasing rents across the country.
Matt Danison, CEO of Rentals.ca, said the new mortgage stress test, higher interest rates and home prices have dramatically increased the number of people looking for rental accommodation this year. Many young couples and families have postponed purchasing a home.
“With near record-high immigration in Canada and record-low unemployment, demand for housing is high, but flat or declining resale house prices due to current and expected future credit tightening has deterred many would-be first-time buyers from entering the ownership market. That demand overflow is being felt in the rental market, where very few Canadian markets are offsetting demand with new rental supply,” added Danison.