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Average asking rental prices reached $2,193 last month

A for rent sign is displayed on a house in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick A for rent sign is displayed on a house in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
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A new report says the average asking price for a rental unit in Canada was $2,193 per month in February, marking a 10.5 per cent jump year-over-year and the fastest annual growth since September 2023.

The data released Monday by Rentals.ca and Urbanation, which analyzes monthly listings from the former's network, shows the average monthly cost of a one-bedroom unit in February was $1,920, up 12.9 per cent from the same month in 2023.

The average asking price for a two-bedroom was $2,293, up 11.3 per cent annually.

The report says asking rents in Canada have increased overall by a total of 21 per cent, or an average of $384 per month, from two years ago, just before the start of interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada.

Alberta maintained its status as the province with the fastest-growing rents, with total average asking prices up 20 per cent annually last month to reach $1,708.

British Columbia and Ontario posted the slowest growth in February, with annual increases of 1.3 per cent and one per cent, respectively. But the provinces remain Canada's most expensive for renters, with total average asking rents of $2,481 in B.C. and $2,431 in Ontario.

On a municipal basis, the largest cities in those two provinces also remain the most expensive major cities to live in Canada for renters. The average asking price for a one-bedroom unit in Vancouver last month was $2,653, down 1.1 per cent from a month earlier, though still 0.5 per cent higher than February 2023.

In Toronto, landlords were listing one-bedroom units for $2,495 on average, down 0.6 per cent on a month-over-month basis and 0.2 per cent from a year ago.

Traditional purpose-built rental apartments posted the fastest year-over-year price growth in February with a 14.4 per cent increase, as rents averaged $2,110. Condominium rentals, with an average rent of $2,372, and apartments in houses, at $2,347, had slower annual growth of five per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively.

The report also highlighted a surge in roommate listings last month.

It says the number of listings for shared accommodations tracked in Canada's four largest provinces grew 72 per cent in February compared with a year ago.

The average asking rents for shared accommodations increased 12 per cent to $1,010, led by 13 per cent annual growth in B.C. to $1,186 and 12 per cent in Alberta to $873.

In Ontario, average roommate rents increased nine per cent to $1,099 and in Quebec by five per cent to $920.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2024.

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