Vancouver rental prices increasing by less than inflation (INFOGRAPHIC)

Even though new rent-control caps aren’t in force yet, median price increases are relatively flat, report two separate rental data studies

Rents in Vancouver may be sky-high, but at least renters can be consoled that prices are not getting much higher – at least for the moment.

Despite the fact that recently announced, stringent rent-hike caps are not yet in force, average rental prices in Vancouver have increased by less than inflation over the past year, according to two separate rental studies.

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Rental website PadMapper’s latest monthly rent analysis, released November 15, reported that the median rent for a Vancouver listing on its site was $2,110 for a one-bedroom – up 1.4 per cent year over year, and Canada’s second-highest after Toronto.

For two-bedroom Vancouver apartments, the median advertised price of $3,160 is the highest in the country by a significant margin, but it is 1.3 per cent lower than November last year, said PadMapper.

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 will be reduced to inflation only, set at 2.5 per cent for 2019. However, this does not include any increases to rents on units between tenancies, which can affect average rental price increases. Rental price increases between tenancies are currently at the discretion of the landlord and are not government controlled.

PadMapper said that Burnaby was the third most-expensive market in the country for both one-bedroom and two-bedroom rents, at $1,580 and $2,250 respectively. Unlike Vancouver, Burnaby's one-bedroom price was a 5.3 per cent increase over November 2017.

As PadMapper uses only its own listings to calculate median rents, its results can vary month to month. However, a local rental analyst is also reporting that rental price growth in Vancouver has slowed greatly and even stopped over the past year.

Louie Dinh, a data analyst at Quantitative Rhetoric, compiles a monthly rental analysis based on online rental advertising listings across multiple sources. Dinh’s latest report, released November 9, said that Vancouver one-bedroom rents were priced at a median of $1,950, which is exactly the same as one year ago. He pegged two-bedroom rents at a median of $2,650, down 1.9 per cent year over year.

Dinh wrote of the two-bedroom price reduction, “This drop is largely attributable to cooling prices for furnished two-bedroom units, which came down 2.4 per cent since September. It's probably the short term rental regulations (STR) starting to bite.”

However, Dinh’s report also found that three-bedroom rents in Vancouver increased a whopping 6.7 per cent, to a median of $3,200. He said, “This is another likely effect of the STR regulations. Three-bed volumes have spiked 25 per cent, changing the mixture of furnished to unfurnished units and pushing up the median.”

Check out the full list of PadMapper’s national rental prices in the chart below.

Padmapper November 2018 full list
Source: PadMapper, November 2018

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