SingleKey’s 2021 Annual Rental Market Report

Unsurprisingly, the 2021 rental market has been marked by several changes, reflective of the pandemic’s continual effects on renter habits. With many working from home and no longer benefiting from their proximity to the city centre, we’ve seen some major shifts in renter attitudes and preferences when looking for homes.

Wrapping up an interesting year for the rental market, SingleKey’s experts highlight some of the major changes that occurred this past year.

A Wrap-Up of 2021 Rental Market Trends

2021 Annual Rental Market Trend Report

Countrywide Average Asking Rent

All over Canada, 2021 ended with annual increases across every type of property.

In December 2021, rentals for single-family home rentals were at $2,570 per month, an 8.9% annual increase but still below pre-COVID highs.

During the start of the pandemic, condo rentals were hardest hit as many tenants left the city to look for cheaper cities. In December 2020, they had a whopping 18% annual decrease. At the end of 2021, however, they bounced back a little and saw an annual increase of 11%, averaging at $2,227 per month.

This past year, apartment rentals experienced the least amount of increases. With an annual increase of just over 1%, they went from $1,603 per month in December 2020 to $1,623 per month in December 2021.At the start of 2022, Toronto and Vancouver were once again the most expensive cities for rental properties. A one-bedroom rental in Vancouver averaged at $2,176 per month, while in Toronto they were $2,013 per month.

In Search of Home Offices

As COVID lockdowns continue to keep people working from home, tenants have been searching for places that can accommodate a separate home office. In addition to looking into larger rentals, many families have been moving farther from their workplaces and relocating from city centres to suburban or rural environments, where they can afford more space for a home office.

Amenities is King: The “15-Minute Cities” Trend 

In PWC’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, they analyze how the work-from-home lifestyle has given Canadians fewer reasons to commute outside of a 15-minute walking radius.

Exploring the increasingly popular concept of “15-minute cities,” the report concludes that building mixed-used communities with amenities, retail shops and offices nearby will become increasingly important for real estate renters and buyers.

The Decline of Small Spaces

By the end of 2021 in November, units with a rounded size of 500 square feet saw the most significant annual decline in average rent by 5%.

This shows an increasing demand in the market for larger and single-family units, likely due to the above-mentioned trend of renters looking for roomier spaces to accommodate a home office.

Navigating the 2022 Rental Market

With an ongoing, uncertain COVID landscape, the future of rentals is still to be determined. Keep your eye on these changes by regularly checking SingleKey’s monthly rental reports.

Looking to keep your rentals more organized in the new year? SingleKey’s Rent Collection and Rent Guarantee tools can help you.

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