Photo: Nathan Shurr / Unsplash

When it comes to Canada’s priciest place to rent an apartment, Toronto and Vancouver have been dueling for years for the top spot, often to the chagrin of many renters in the cities themselves.

A new report published by PadMapper this week revealed that Vancouver has overtaken Toronto when it comes to the average price of a one-bedroom rental unit.

Despite rental costs dipping in both cities last month, Vancouver’s average price dropped by 1.5 percent month-to-month to $1,950 in November, slightly higher than Toronto’s average one-bedroom apartment price of $1,900, which declined by five percent monthly.

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On an annual basis, Vancouver’s rental prices for both one- and two-bedroom units are down by 11 percent each, with two-bedroom apartments posting average prices of $2,680. Similarly, average rents for one-bedroom units in Toronto have fallen by 17 percent year-over-year and by 15.7 percent for two-bedroom suites at $2,530.

Three other British Columbian cities made the top-five most expensive one-bedroom list out of the 24 Canadian cities PadMapper analyzed. Burnaby, Victoria and Kelowna reported rental prices of $1,670, $1,630 and $1,510, respectively. Burnaby and Victoria experienced price declines of 2.9 percent and 1.2 percent, while Kelowna experienced a price jump of 4.1 percent monthly and 12 percent annually.

Across the country, nine of the 24 cities reported monthly rent declines, 12 saw prices increase and three experienced flat prices.

Recent market commentary from real estate experts point to a lack of immigrants and student renters as primary causes for low rental demand and declining prices in major Canadian cities. However, the distribution of a vaccine in 2021 to the broader public will likely help these markets rebound as the year progresses.

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