Rental rates up over 20% in St. Catharines, city 25th most expensive in Canada

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Published April 14, 2023 at 11:38 am

St. Catharines might be much more affordable for renters than other Southern Ontario cities, but rates are climbing year-over-year and one-bedroom units, in particular, have seen dramatic price increases. 

According to the latest National Rent Report produced by Rentals.ca and Urbanation, the Niagara Region city finished 25th on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in March. 

Last month, the cost of a one-bedroom unit hit $1,603, and the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom hit $1,995. 

The rate for a one-bedroom unit is up 23.1 per cent from March 2022, while rates for two-bedroom suites are up 11.2 per cent.

That said, one-bedroom units are slightly cheaper month-over-month.

In March, the price of a one-bedroom unit was down 1.7 per cent from February. The price of a two-bedroom unit, on the other hand, climbed 2.8 per cent. 

St. Catharines isn’t an outlier when it comes to increasing rental rates.

According to the report, the average asking rent for all property types in Canada rose 10.8 per cent annually in March to $2,004. Average rents were up 1 per cent month over month – the first such increase since November.

Over the past year, average asking rents have grown by $196, which the report says indicates high demand and inadequate supply. 

As renters scramble to find more affordable units, some Ontario cities are seeing faster price growth. According to the report, St. Catharines is on the list for the fastest-growing annual rent increases for condo and apartment rentals, with prices up 16.2 per cent. 

Other cities with climbing rates include Hamilton (up 21.4 per cent) and Kitchener (up 21 per cent)

The report also notes that private room and shared-accommodation rentals have gained popularity as tenants are squeezed by rapidly climbing prices. 

The average rent for single-room rentals in Toronto in March was $1,309, and the average rent for a single room in Ontario in March was $934. 

“Spring arrived with a highly competitive rental market in Canada, driven by a record population increase of over 1 million people in the past year and low homeownership affordability after last year’s spike in interest rates,” said Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation, in the report. 

“With supply unable to keep up with current levels of demand, expect further upward pressure on rents in the coming months.”

The National Rent Report charts and analyzes monthly, quarterly and annual rates and trends in the rental market on a national, provincial, and municipal level.

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