September 8, 2023
PayProp Insights Canada

Young Canadians can’t afford rent, even with a roommate

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Renting with a roommate no longer offers the same cost savings as it did even a year ago.

The average asking rents for shared accommodation in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec climbed 16.1% over the past year to $971 in July.

In Ontario, asking roommate rents rose 7.1% year-over-year to $1,009 in July, surpassing $1,000 for the first time. And with an average asking rent of $1,296, Toronto had the second-highest roommate rental rates in the country, just behind Vancouver.

For the young Canadians who depend on the well-known financial benefits of renting with a roommate, this leaves even fewer housing options.

Unable to afford living on their own, 35% of young adults between the ages of 20 to 34 – including Wilmot Township Mayor Natasha Salonen – are now living at home with at least one of their parents, who often charge significantly cheaper rent or nothing at all. 

How can property managers fill properties in the circumstances? Quite easily: rising rents are being driven by rising demand, and so most property managers are having no issues filling their units even at the new higher rents.

What about those who do struggle? While you might not be able to match the extremely low rents that parents offer, you can ensure that your rental rates are competitive for the local market and that younger tenants feel they are getting value for money.

You can also consider offering move-in incentives such as waived application fees, a free parking spot or a discounted grocery delivery service membership to attract young renters looking to cut costs wherever possible.

More shared accommodation headlines

Sky-high rents mean finding roommates is more and more like dating – The Globe and Mail

How the 'tax' on singles has people who live alone feeling the pinch – CBC Radio

Leasing to roommates is profitable. Here’s how it can be easy too. – PayProp

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