April 2020 Canadian Rent Report

April 2020 Canadian Rent Report

Written by Crystal Chen --PadMapper

COVID-19 Rental Trends

COVID-19 is impacting the real estate market so we wanted to use this month’s rent report to share some data points and insights on what rental trends we are seeing in reaction to this outbreak in addition to the usual national rent prices.

As people have increasingly sheltered in place and going to open houses have come to a halt, there has naturally been a slow-down in the rental market. Google search volume for apartments for rent in Canada is down 14% and Canadian traffic to our search site dropped about 10% when comparing February to March, which is when the effects of COVID-19 really began to take place. As demand drops, landlords in Shelter-in-Place cities have removed their listings until a time when they can show them again and tenants are cancelling their move outs so landlords are taking these planned vacancies off the market.  

Meanwhile, the number of short-term properties, which we define as a minimum lease of less than four months or an option for month to month, have grown about 20% last month. It seems short-term property owners originally renting out to traveling guests are now marketing their properties to longer term flexi-stays in response to the collapse in demand from travelers.

In this month’s report, 9 cities experienced an upward trend, 6 downward, and 9 remained flat. Most of the cities that saw changes experienced relatively small ones with only a few changing significantly. We expect the coming spring months to continue to slow down as rents will most likely feel downward pressure from the lack of demand.

Top 5 Most Expensive Markets

  1.  Toronto, ON ranked as the most expensive city with one-bedroom rent increasing 0.9% to $2,250, while two-bedrooms grew 2.8% to $2,950.
  2. Vancouver, BC saw one-bedroom rent drop 2.3% to $2,150, while two-bedrooms increased a slight 0.3% to $3,000.
  3. Burnaby, BC was the 3rd priciest market with one-bedroom rent falling 0.6% to $1,790, while two-bedrooms grew 0.9% to $2,370.
  4. Victoria, BC one and two-bedroom prices both stayed stable last month and settled at medians of $1,600 and $2,000, respectively.
  5. Montréal, QC ranked as the 5th most expensive market with one-bedroom rent jumping 4% to $1,550, while two-bedroom rent climbed 2.7% to $1,900. Notably, on a year-over-year basis, two-bedrooms are up over 11%.

Cities with The Largest Monthly Changes


Barrie, ON had the fastest growing one-bedroom rent in the nation, climbing 5% to $1,460, and moved up 2 spots to rank as the 6th priciest city. Two bedrooms had more modest growth, increasing 3.6% to $1,730.

Windsor, ON one-bedroom rent jumped 4.8%, settling at $870, and up 1 position to become the 22nd most expensive.

Hamilton, ON ranked as the 11th priciest with one-bedroom rent growing 3.9% to $1,340 and two-bedrooms increasing 1.3% to $1,590.


Québec, QC saw one-bedroom rent drop 4.7% last month, which was the biggest decline in the country, to $810 and dip 1 position to become the 23rd most expensive city.

Calgary, AB ranked as the 16th priciest city with one-bedroom rent falling 2.7% to $1,100.

Kingston, ON moved down 1 spot to rank as the 13th most expensive with one-bedroom rent declining 0.8% to $1,220 and two-bedrooms dropping 0.6% to $1,560.


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