Van­cou­ver rentals rank in the mid­dle of global prices: poll

Aggregator site lists one-bed­room at $914, but cur­rent va­can­cies go for much more

Vancouver Sun - - CITY - SU­SAN LAZARUK

Rents for one-bed­room apart­ments in the Van­cou­ver area are the prici­est in Canada, but they’re not any­where close to the most ex­pen­sive in the world.

An in­ter­na­tional study of 100 ci­ties by Nest­pick, a meta search en­gine, ranks Van­cou­ver with the 44th-high­est rents in the world.

But $914 for a small one-bed­room that Nest­pick says is typ­i­cal for a suite be­tween 420 and 485 square feet will likely be hard to find.

That was at least $100 lower than av­er­age rents pub­lished by the Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing Corp. in its lat­est re­port, from Oc­to­ber 2016, for Metro Van­cou­ver apart­ments: from $1,013 for a stu­dio and $1,159 for a one-bed­room.

The 2017 num­bers, which will likely be higher, are ex­pected in two weeks, ac­cord­ing to a CMHC spokes­woman.

The Nest­pick study did show rents for un­fur­nished two- or three-bed­room apart­ments, 800 to 1,300 square feet, in Metro Van­cou­ver, at $1,768.

And that was higher than an av­er­age two-bed­room in Metro Van­cou­ver in CMHC’s Oc­to­ber 2016 re­port, where a two- to three- bed­room was $1,450 to $1,631.

“The rank­ing of Van­cou­ver some­where in the mid­dle (glob­ally) is about right,” said UBC so­ci­ol­ogy Prof. Nathan Lauster, au­thor of The Death and Life of the Sin­gle Fam­ily House.

But he said the rents for all size rentals by sim­i­lar ser­vices are “sig­nif­i­cantly higher” than those pro­vided by Nest­pick and he said its num­bers weren’t “cred­i­ble.”

For in­stance, num­beo.com, which re­lies on crowd­sourc­ing, puts one-bed­room rents from $1,367 to $1,825, and three-bed­rooms at $2,529 to $3,688; and Louie Dinh, a free­lance data sci­en­tist who runs Quan­ti­ta­tive Rhetoric, pegged rents in Van­cou­ver only at $1,600 for a stu­dio, $1,950 for a one-bed­room and $2,950 for a three-bed­room us­ing Oc­to­ber on­line list­ings.

Nest­pick, a rent aggregator de­signed to pro­vide ex­pats and in­ter­na­tional stu­dents a com­par­i­son of rental costs world­wide, said in the study its av­er­ages may be lower than ac­tual rents in some ci­ties be­cause Nest­pick searched a wider area than just a city’s core.

It also said its rents could be higher than ac­tual rates in some ci­ties be­cause they were “rep­re­sen­ta­tive of today’s ask­ing price for rent in each city, and not the over­all historical av­er­age res­i­dents pay.”

PadMap­per Cana­dian Rent Re­port re­ported rents for a Van­cou­ver-area one-bed­room had climbed in Oc­to­ber to $2,120, and to $3,200 for a two-bed­room.

PadMap­per said it also bases its rents on ac­tive list­ings and not rents in all oc­cu­pied units, which is why the rents are higher than num­bers from CMHC.

The Nest­pick study also al­lows com­par­i­son of what it would cost to fur­nish an apart­ment, based on the same items of fur­ni­ture pur­chased at Ikea in each city, and how many months it would take renters to pay off the fur­nish­ings, based on av­er­age salaries. (Four­teen months in Van­cou­ver.)

Nest­pick also com­pared each city to the in­ter­na­tional av­er­age rent.

Van­cou­ver’s rent of $914 for an un­fur­nished one-bed­room was no higher or lower than the global av­er­age, but the $1,768 for an un­fur­nished fam­ily-size apart­ment was 16 per cent higher than av­er­age, the study said.

And based on spend­ing no more than 29 per cent of be­fore-tax in­come on hous­ing, Nest­pick also de­ter­mined how much an in­di­vid­ual would have to earn in a gross salary to af­ford to live in each city — you have to make at least $3,155 a month to com­fort­ably af­ford a onebed­room in Van­cou­ver, and $6,099 a month for a two-plus bed­room.

The top three most ex­pen­sive rents (all amounts con­verted to Cana­dian dol­lars) for un­fur­nished one-bed­room apart­ments were in San Fran­cisco ($2,611), New York ($2,355) and Bos­ton ($1,817). Seat­tle was No. 14, ($1,490), and other Cana­dian ci­ties were Toronto, No. 50, ($935), Cal­gary, No. 54, ($734), Ot­tawa, No. 66, ($737) and Mon­treal, No. 80 ($583).

GERRY KAHRMANN

Van­cou­ver ranks be­hind Toronto for av­er­age rents and is much cheaper than San Fran­cisco, New York and Bos­ton.

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