COVID-19 Shock is Driving Down Rents falling in Vancouver and Toronto

COVID-19 Shock is Driving Down Rents falling in Vancouver and Toronto

  • British Columbia
  • Real Estate
  • Rental
May 27, 2020

Rental prices are falling in Vancouver and Toronto. Such phenomenon unheard of in the cities of Vancouver and Toronto, the fastest growing cities in Canada. Vancouver suffered from the biggest drop. The advertised rent for two-bedroom apartment has fell by as much as 15% and COVID-19 is believed to be the main cause for it. The two cities are similar and suffers from same problem.

Accordingly, to the average rent demanded for two-bedroom apartment from, it dropped by almost $450 to $2450 a month in the City of Vancouver. COVID-19 halts the economy, but it should not affect rental market as much given that BC Housing is providing rental subsidy. Overall, Toronto rent fell by approximately 5% and Vancouver 9%.

The data is telling us that landlord is having trouble finding tenants amid the pandemic. We believe the cause for reduction in demand from housing can be divided into domestic and international demands.

Vancouver and Toronto are being hit the hardest in the housing market compared to other provinces it is because the two cities are heavily influenced by international travelers including international student, tourism, and foreign workers. When the boarder closed, this eliminates the people from entering the country including immigration, international student, and temporary resident. This does not stop people from leaving the country in fear of the pandemic worsen in comparison to where they originate. As a result, we are continuously losing resident in the city.

Domestic demand comes down to what Vancouver has been struggling with for a long time: affordability. Living in Vancouver is expensive, job loses and household debt is putting extra pressure in amid this time and people is unlikely to move to new rental units due to social distancing and relying on eviction restriction helping those who cannot afford to pay rent.

Due to the above reasons, the rental market is in a stalemate. Most people rent in these cities with a vacancy rate of less than one percent is seeing a plunge in average rent. The two cities are heavily reliant on international affairs and it is shown in the rental market. These are only short-term effects, if the boarder continues to be closed and student allowed to continue their education remotely it will be a hit to not just the rental market.

Yoyoe Lu

Founder and managing principal

Yoyoe is the founder and managing principal of Claridge. She was ranked one of Vancouver’s top real estate agents. Currently, Yoyoe is our strategic mind leading the team to success. Her affiliation with industry professionals put her ahead of our competitors. Yoyoe is also part of the Rotary Club of West Vancouver, Canadian Homebuilders Association, Urban Land Institute and Urban Development Institute.

Ashley Osborn

Development Site and Investment Specialist

Ashely is our lead land and investment advisor. He has been consistently featured in the annual top 100 real estate deals of British Columbia ranking. With over $15 billion worth of domestic and international real estate investments under his belt, Ashley is one of the top agents in the province. His 20 years of real estate and financial experience make him a master in negotiation and acquisition.

Patricia Wong Chong

Investment and Leasing Specialist

Patricia is our investment and retail leasing advisor. Her experience in brokerage and market research analysis has helped her comprise over $550 million in commercial real estate transactions. Patricia is responsible, detail-oriented, and professional. Her strong work ethic and positive attitude have led her to surpass all her competitors.

Schumann Li

Land Assembly & Residential Specialist

Schumann is a top-producing realtor in the Lower Mainland with more than 30 years’ experience. Over the years, Schumann hasn’t just garnered awards, but the trust of countless customers. Her clients continually refer to her outstanding professionalism, work ethic and poise.

Wendy Kaip

Sales Associate

Whether it’s decoding city policies, strategizing relocation plans, home sellers looking for a trustworthy advisor to unlock their property’s maximum potential- Wendy is here to help every step along the way.

Prior to real estate, Wendy spent over a decade in the mining industry with her attention to detail, keen negotiation skills, extensive network and strong reputation for getting the deal done, bringing endless value to her current real estate clients.

Whether you are thinking about selling to a developer, or have more questions about commercial real estate, Wendy invites you to connect, to see how she can utilize her expertise and team to help create value and maximize your real estate goals.

Simon Chan

Managing Broker

Simon is the managing broker of Claridge Real Estate Advisors Inc. His expertise has helped our agents resolve many difficulties. Not only is Simon knowledgeable with real estate legislation, but he is also very detail orientated. With Simon on our team, our agents are confident to conduct businesses and will always get the support they need to ensure they’re not walking on dirty water.

Frank Zhou


As the analyst of the company, my key job is to help brokers to find marketable clients and locate feasible development sites by collecting and analyzing up-to-date market transaction data and conducting target market and property-level research. Meanwhile, I am also in charge of maintaining the company’s property database to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness and continuously upgrading the level of knowledge by staying up to date with hot topics, and market trends, and incorporating findings into everyday work. Before joining the company, I worked for CR Group as a real estate investment manager, focusing on capital raising, equity and debt financing, acquisition and renovation. I hold 2 master’s degrees, one in Housing Management and the other in Economics.