While the cost of owning a home seems astronomical due to higher prices and interest rates, life as a renter isn’t getting any cheaper either, however, places like Prince George look like a bargain compared to other cities.
According to Rentals.ca, the average asking price for a rental unit in Canada reached $2,178 last month, a nearly 10% increase on a year-over-year basis with major markets like Vancouver and Toronto among the most expensive.
According to data from October of 2022 from the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation, Prince George is about half the national average as the price for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,112 – the vacancy rate in our city is at 4.0% – over a point higher than the national rate of 2.8.
In addition, the average cost of a one-bedroom unit in Canada during October was $1,906 – PG is substantially less at $927.
Rentals.ca communications manager, Giacomo Ladas told MyPGNow.com the entire rental demographic has changed drastically over the years.
“When I was younger, I always thought that a renter was somebody who was moving out of their parent’s place for the first time and they were maybe moving in with a significant other. The rental market is different now with more couples with stable jobs and kids and they can afford a little more in rent and people know that.”
Ladas added renters, including himself, remain hesitant to shell out more for a costlier piece of real estate at this time.
“I’d love to get into the homeownership market as I am in an apartment right now. But, I am nervous to leave this rent-controlled apartment to go buy an overpriced home where my mortgage rates are really high and I am not sure if there is going to be another collapse. Most people like me are hesitant to move out and what happens then is there is no turnover.”
Ladas stated rising rent is a concern across much of the country.
“When these price increases were beginning it was starting in Vancouver and Toronto, Oakville and Mississauga and then it increased to everywhere across Canada to the point where we are now seeing tertiary markets increase at just about the same rate as the metro cores.”
“Basically, everyone is being affected by this no matter where they live whether it’s downtown Vancouver or Prince George or if they live in small areas like I am living. So, it’s something that is having an effect on everybody.”
“Until we start seeing a large increase in supply coming into the market, we do think these trends are going to continue,” added Ladas.
When asked how the average Canadian resident, including Prince George, is able to afford skyrocketing rates – Ladas stated most people can’t.
“Unfortunately, the answer to that is they are not really affording these rents, and what they are doing is they are looking to find ways in which, they can alleviate this. The main thing is most people are looking for roommates as much as possible – shared accommodations on our website have increased exponentially over these last few months, which makes sense because they are trying to find any way they can to alleviate the cost of rent and then if you are moving from a one bedroom to a two bedroom, you are not doubling the rate by doing that and then you can have a roommate come in to subsidize the price for that.”
“People who own homes are also having a harder time and they are now renting out their basement or spare rooms in their home. We are seeing those listings on our site too so we are starting to see more affordable options on our site with people trying to alleviate their costs.”
To view the rental report, click here.