This was a Sept 14th headline in the media: “Average rental cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is now $2020.00”. The source of the information was rental listing website PadMapper. We wish to state that the PadMapper stats are inconsistent with what we know as the industry association representing the rental housing industry in BC and, specifically, from our 3300 landlord and property management members. It is not our objective to criticize PadMapper. We are simply providing some clarification that we believe is necessary.
First of all, PadMappers numbers are MEDIANS not averages.
If you were to look at the West End, a one-bedroom unit in a well-maintained typical (say built in the 70’s) purpose-built rental is going for $1400-$1500 per month for someone new moving in today. The average rent in that building is closer to $1100 – $1200 per month when you factor in current tenants. The turnover of tenants is generally very low in today’s market so the average we’ve noted is very much an accurate indicator. To achieve a $2020.00 per month rent would require rental rates in the order of $3.50 to $4.00 per square foot. That range is almost double what a typical West End rental charges today.
PadMapper draws their data from their website listing which are “asking” prices for the units. They are not reporting the actual final rents renters are paying when moving in. Furthermore, we believe that PadMapper’s data skews high because a disproportionate amount of its listers (they are a rental marketing site) are large owners, property managers and agencies. Condos would also make up a meaningful portion of the listings and condo rents are easily 30% – 40% higher. The “mom and pop” landlords and the secondary market (basement suite landlords) virtually exclusively post their rental ads on Craigslist or similar platforms. If PadMapper did include these mom and pops and basement suites in their analysis, the numbers they are reporting would, in our view, drop significantly. There was a time that PadMapper scraped Craigslist for listings and included them in their reporting but this ended long before they started publishing this market analysis information that we are seeing now. Again, we want to emphasize that this is not a critique of PadMapper. This is just our perspective as the industry association representing the rental housing industry in BC.