High prices, bidding wars and absolutely zero renter incentives in Calgary’s rental market make it a landlord’s world.
As the province emerges from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are looking for new places to live, which is pushing up prices and reducing supply.
Data from RentFaster, Calgary’s largest rental listing website, compared rental prices from July 2021 to July 2020.
During this year, a report from Rental.ca, an Eastern Canada rental website in partnership with RentFaster, indicated that the average price had increased by 14% for all rental types – suites to sub -floor, condominiums and townhouses.
Mark Hawkins, the chairman of RentFaster, said rent prices have come down in recent years largely because of the economy – and then COVID-19.
In 2016, for example, a vacancy spike in Calgary forced landlords to offer rent cuts along with incentives such as free parking, free utilities, or coverage for the first month’s rent.
âNow we’re just starting to go up in terms of rental prices. I think what we’re seeing more and more year over year is a little more confidence. You had people who would have it. had a roommate, possibly relocated with their parents, âHawkins said.
“They’re sort of coming back to what would be a little more normal life, so they could move out on their own.”
Not enough rentals
Hawkins says RentFaster sees about 6,000-9,000 new properties listed per month in Calgary, but demand is affecting the number of homes available.
âWe’ve actually seen about year over yearâ¦ your typical rental unit stays half the time it did a year ago,â he said.
And because of that, it could lead to bidding wars for rentals, which Christian Lebodia has experienced firsthand this year.
After living with his girlfriend in Calgary’s Beltline during the pandemic, they were looking for a bigger place to move in, but it wasn’t as easy as he thought.
“Yes [the landlord] was having a viewing, they were like, “Well, I know the list said $ 1,500 a month, but this person said they would pay $ 1,650,” “he said.
And when there was no price change in the rent, Lebodia said the units would be ripped off in minutes.
âI literally looked all over town for months. And like, I was willing to find some extra work in order to find a place that we could afford more,â he said.
“The number of properties we were seeing was like out of control for something that’s going to cost you less than $ 1,500, which is pricey.”
And for those who want even more space, the rent is much higher due to the typical price range for these properties.
âA 14% increase on an $ 800 one-bedroom apartment is very different from a 14% increase on a $ 3,500 house. So just keep that nuance in mind,â Hawkins said. .
Ali Babiak says she recently moved into a duplex in the northwest community of Hillhurst which costs $ 3,500 to rent.
She shares the place with three roommates all in their mid-twenties and originally thought the prices would be around $ 2,500 per month.
âJust recently, looking at all the houses, they were all in the $ 4,000 range for a full houseâ¦ It’s very expensive. The prices have gone up a lot, in my opinion,â she said.
She also noticed the lack of rental properties available and said many landlords would not respond to her after expressing interest.
“Basically you would be messaging everyone on RentFaster because there were only three places in your price range.”
However, she found that the owners were quite picky about who they rented out – something she said was different from renting a few years ago.
âNobody really wants to rent to people our age,â she said.
âYou say to the owner, ‘I have a full time income and I have referrals because I have rented at previous locations. And then, you know, it’s hard, it’s the change that I noticed.
Even better at national level
Hawkins says that despite the increase, Calgary is still fairly cheap to rent.
According to RentFaster’s national rental ranking, Calgary was 22nd out of 35 Canadian cities, with Vancouver the most expensive with an average rent of $ 3,000 per month.
âI think you’re going to see a lot more people moving out of the Vancouver area, the Toronto area, into markets like Calgary because of the affordability. So your ability to buy a property, to pay more affordable rent, there is a significant difference, âhe said.
Housing affordability has become a key issue for voters ahead of the September 20 federal election as tenants and potential buyers grapple with the market.
the largest in Canada federal parties shared their visions to make housing accessible, offering ideas ranging from restrictions on foreign buyers to building new homes.
Learn more about the housing situation in Canada here: