Edmonton Rental Market – Year in Review (2020)

Image Source: IQRemix; Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/iqremix/42276507674/in/photostream/

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation released their annual rental market report a few weeks ago. The report analyzes market trends in large population centres in Canada for the year 2020.

Here are three highlights from the report for metro Edmonton:

  • Vacancy goes up, average rent stays the same

The vacancy rate in the primary rental sector reached levels (7.2%) not seen since 1995. This vacancy rate equates to roughly 5,188 units. While vacancy reached levels unseen in 25 years, the average rental cost remained roughly the same at $1,153.

  • Supply increases, with addition of higher rent units

The supply of rental units increased by 3.1% for a total of 72,061 units. The average rent for the new units added to the rental stock was 31.2% higher ($1,513) than the average rent of the purpose-built rental stock as whole.

  • Rental market still remains unaffordable for households in deep poverty

Only 15.1% of the rental stock in metro Edmonton is affordable to renter households with low incomes (households with annual income of less than $36K). Housing affordability stress is likely significant among households with children in this income category as only 2.5% of two-bedrooms and none of 3+ bedrooms are affordable to them.

Take-away: Affordability challenges persist alongside an increase in supply.

Joshua Evans, Affordable Housing Solutions Lab