Market update April 2024: Runaway rental demand

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Models of houses with upward-trending arrows on top

February was another month of robust demand for purpose-built rentals, outpacing construction efforts as property managers keep coming out on top.

  • CREA also reports a 4% drop in month-over-month home sales in February.
  • With a sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) of 55.6%, most of Canada's provincial housing markets are currently balanced, although some showing signs of favouring sellers.
  • “It’s looking like February may end up being the last relatively uneventful month of the year as far as the 2024 housing story goes,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist.
  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reports a 0.4% uptick in total housing starts from 244,638 units in January to 245,665 in February, primarily driven by multifamily projects. Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary all reached record-high levels of purpose-built rental and condominium apartment construction.
  • CMHC deputy chief economist Aled ab Iorwerth said,
"There were a large number of housing starts in 2023, particularly in the rental segment, which is good progress, but not enough to improve affordability,”
  • As a result, the average national asking rent in February maintained last month's record high at $2,193, according to
  • Ontario saw annual asking rents for both purpose-built and condo apartments increase modestly, with one-bedroom rents rising 2.0% to $2,221 and two-bedroom rents up 1.1% to $2,690.

More rental market headlines

Ontario budget hints at more vacant home taxes, attainable housing – Storeys

Ontario's “Get It Done Act” to boost housing development – PayProp

Landmark US settlement could impact Canadian housing market – CBC

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