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Rental affordability is a concern for many Canadians, particularly in the country’s major urban centres, but how do international rents stack up?

A recent CBRE report provides some insights.

The commercial real estate company’s Global Living 2019 report compares the average rents in 35 global cities, including three in Canada, presenting the rates in US Dollars.

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Topping the list for most expensive monthly rents was New York, where the average monthly rent was $2,844, or about $3,769 in Canadian funds as of today.

No Canadian city was in the top 10 for the average monthly rental rate, but all three included in the study were near the top of the list for rental increases in 2018.

While Lisbon saw rents soar 20.9 percent in 2018, the largest increase of any city, Vancouver rents grew 6.8 percent, putting the city in sixth place and first among Canadian locales.

Looking ahead, it doesn’t look like there’s much in the way of relief in store for Vancouver renters.

“Tight market conditions are attracting development in the rental sector,” the CBRE report notes. “Despite this, a supply and demand imbalance in the rental market is likely to persist for some time,” the report continues.

Vancity rents still remained relatively affordable on the global stage at $1,042 ($1,381 in Canadian funds) a month, placing 21st out of 35, the highest spot for a Canadian city.

Toronto, which had rents averaging $1,026 ($1,359 in Canadian funds), was ninth in terms of annual growth at 4.8 percent. Montreal rounded out the top 10, with rents rising 3.9 percent to an average of $599 ($793 in Canadian funds).

CBRE sourced Canadian rents from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s rental market survey, which tracks rents in census metro areas, which can partly explain why the monthly rates may seem low compared to what’s leasing in the cities proper.

While the markets included in the worldwide roundup varied in many ways, a considerable share had at least one thing in common, the report suggests.

“Demand for flexible rental properties keeps on rising across the world, which impacts rental costs,” writes Jennet Siebrits, CBRE’s head of residential research, in the report.

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