Houses for sale in Ottawa

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National residential rental rates hit a new all-time high in August, according to a new report from

Average rents rose 1.8 per cent month over month — and 9.6 per cent year over year — to reach $2,117 in the month, with the year-over-year figure marking a four-month high. While it was a new record in terms of price, the 9.6 per cent figure was lower than the record 12 per cent increase in rents recorded in August 2022.

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Over the past three months, spanning from May to August, rents were up 5.1 per cent, or the equivalent of $103 in monthly payments.

The increase in rents was most starkly reflected in the apartment segment, where average rental rates were up 16 per cent year over year in August, dwarfing the 6.2 per cent increase in rental rates for homes and townhomes.

On a regional basis, Alberta led the way, with purpose-built rental apartments and condo rents rising 15.6 per cent year-over-year — the fourth consecutive month where the province had the highest rental price growth.

Quebec was next in line, posting the second-fastest growth in August at a 14.3 per cent year-over-year clip. That marks the third consecutive month the province trailed only Alberta.

Rent increases were the slowest in Manitoba and Saskatchewan on a year-over-year basis, rising 8.3 and 2.7 per cent, respectively.

In the report, attributed the increases to Canada’s booming population growth and the rising interest rate environment, which has sidelined many prospective homebuyers.

The higher benchmark rate from the Bank of Canada paired with the B-20 stress tests, which require borrowers to qualify at either 5.25 per cent or their contractual rate plus 200 basis points, whichever is greater, has curbed some home sales activity, particularly in more expensive markets such as Toronto and Vancouver.

Those two markets — while not notching the largest rental rate increases in the month — remained the most expensive cities for renters in the month, with a one-bedroom running at $2,988 and $2,620, respectively.

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