Market update March 2024: Low supply setting record rental highs

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Models of houses in floating bubbles

With a balanced sales market and expectations of a more active spring, it's a good time for buyers to explore their options. At the same time, as long as rental supply lags behind demand, rental prices are likely to remain high and stable.

  • CREA also reports a 4% rise in month-over-month home sales in January.
  • The country’s sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) stayed put at 58.8%, meaning most of Canada's provincial housing markets are balanced, including Ontario, with sellers receiving reasonable offers and buyers having ample options.
  • “The market has been showing some early signs of life over the last couple of months, probably no surprise given how much pent-up demand is out there,” says Larry Cerqua, Chair of CREA. “There’s a consensus that the market will probably look quite a bit different this year compared to 2022 and 2023.”
  • In Ontario, municipalities have been hard at work building housing units to reach the province’s goal of 1.5 million new homes by 2031 – more on that in our full story. Nationwide, however, total monthly housing starts were down 2% from 249,757 units in December 2023 to 244,827 units in January 2024, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
  • The CMHC also recorded a 1.5% national vacancy rate for purpose-built rental apartments – the lowest on record since data tracking began in 1988.
  • As a result, the average national asking rent in January hit another record high of $2,196 – up 0.8% month over month and 10% year over year, according to
  • Average shared accommodation rents in all four provinces surged 18.5% annually to a record $1,010 in January. British Columbia led with an average of $1,158, followed by Ontario at $1,109. Toronto recorded the second highest average roommate rent at $1,311.

More rental market headlines

Report on backlog at LTB says Ontario gov. seems willing to let situation 'fester' – CBC

Some GTA college students being paired with seniors with extra space amid housing crisis – CTV

Rental demand from international students will slow this year, but won’t fall – Financial Post

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