Rents in Hamilton on the rise but pace has slowed somewhat

 

Rents continue to rise in Hamilton but their momentum has slowed somewhat in recent months, a new report shows.

Hamilton finished 20th for average monthly rent in August for a one-bedroom home at $1,507 and seventh for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $2,209, according to the National Rent Report carried out by Bullpen Research and Consulting and Rentals.ca.

Month over month, the increase in price for one-bedroom rentals was up by 0.6 per cent and two bedrooms by 1.3 per cent. Year over year, while the data for two-bedroom units was not included in the report, this marks a 10.6 rent increase in one-bedroom rentals.

When looking at the numbers across the country, a different story is playing out.

According to the report, in August, the average rent for all property types listed on Rentals.ca in the country was $1,769, down $2 from July’s $1,771 and $1 from June’s $1,700. The August average monthly rate is down 7.6 per cent annually.

The average one-bedroom unit was offered at $1,597 per month in August, down 6 per cent annually, and is almost $100 cheaper than January of this year.

Two-bedroom units have not declined as sharply as one-bedrooms, with the $1,894 per month average asking rent down 4.7 per cent from a year earlier.

Toronto still led the list in August for highest average monthly rent for a one-bedroom home at $2,013, but rents for a one-bedroom in the city have dropped for six straight months.

In Toronto and Vancouver, the average asking rent for a condominium apartment is over $400 per month cheaper in August 2020 compared to August 2019. In Montreal it is almost $350 cheaper.

Average monthly rents for cities near Toronto are for the most part less expensive than rents for the GTA, but many of the cities have experienced year-over-year rent growth, including London, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Kitchener and Waterloo.

"Despite the lower rent levels and incentives offered by landlords recently, there is less financial motivation to move during a pandemic, especially with Ontario freezing rent hikes on all rent-controlled properties for 2021," said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting.

Lower demand is likely reflecting job losses; less immigration; many post-secondary schools going virtual in the fall; the lack of tourism deflating the short-term rental market; many young professionals moving back in with their parents; low-interest rates encouraging buying and a shift to cheaper areas with more employees working from home and choosing a less expensive housing market, according to the report.

"The lifting of COVID-19 eviction bans in several provinces could lead to further supply hitting the market and further depressing rent levels," Myers said.

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