The housing crisis is deepening across Canada


Vacancy rates are lower than ever, at 1.5%, and average rents are up 8% in a year. The housing crisis will get worse in 2023 in almost all major cities in Canada, from Montreal through Quebec to Toronto.

According to the Rental Market Report published this Wednesday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), this decline in the picture comes as the supply of new housing has nevertheless increased, “but not enough to keep up with rental market demand.”Not enough.” “We can read.”

None of the 17 Canadian cities analyzed presented a balanced market in 2023, which favors neither owners nor renters and whose vacancy rates should remain between 3 and 4%. About ten cities are below the 1% rate. In Quebec, Trois-Rivières (0.4%), Drummondville (0.5%), and Quebec (0.9%) find themselves in this situation.

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In Montreal, the vacancy rate increased from 2% to 1.5% in one year. It reached the Canadian average in 2023.

“Once again in 2023, demand for rental housing was strong and continues to exceed supply across the country,” Kevin Hughes, CMHC’s deputy chief economist, said in a press release. This makes it very difficult for tenants to find housing they can rent. The vacancy rates and rising rents we are seeing are evidence that the current supply of rental housing in Canada is grossly inadequate and urgently needs to be increased.

$1096 for two bedrooms

Rents across Canada followed the opposite curve, with an average increase of 8%. There is a huge disparity here from one city to another. In Quebec, the average rent increase for a two-bedroom unit was 4.8% over a year, while in Montreal it was 7.9%. In Quebec, the Sherbrooke metropolitan area was most affected, with an increase of 9.8%. The Canadian champion in this regard was Calgary, with an average increase of 14.3%.

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According to CMHC, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is now $1,040 in Quebec and $1,096 in Montreal. This is an average. In apartments that have changed occupants, apartments that have experienced “tenant turnover” actually have higher rents, at $1,310 in Montreal and $1,128 in Quebec, a year-over-year increase of 18, 9%, and 13%, respectively. For.

However, supply increased in almost all urban markets studied, with increases of 1.7% across Canada and 1.8% in Montreal. But this increase was insufficient to absorb the increase in demand, the report said. “Strong growth in immigration and employment has increased demand for rental housing nationally,” it states.

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