The median price of a one-bedroom apartment in Victoria is $1,600 per month, according to PadMapper. (Black Press Media File Photo)

The median price of a one-bedroom apartment in Victoria is $1,600 per month, according to PadMapper. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Victoria’s median asking rent for one-bedroom hits $1,600

Rent prices up 15 per cent since 2019: PadMapper

A one-bedroom Victoria rental costs about $1,600 per month, according to PadMapper data.

The mid-July 2020 statistics show a 15 per cent year over year increase in median rent prices for one and two-bedroom apartments – the latter costing $1,990 per month on average.

Those prices put Victoria in the top four of PadMapper’s most expensive main cities for Canadian renters, surpassed only by Toronto, Vancouver and Burnaby.

“Living as a single person in a city like this is pretty difficult in terms of the prices of rent,” says Jessica McCarthy, 32. The Victoria newcomer is living with her parents while she searches for a long-term rental home, but the hunt hasn’t been easy.

“If the situation was right, I would be open to having a roommate,” she says. “But I am 32 now, I am a university graduate, I just kind of want my own space, but it’s difficult when the price of rent is so high.”

RELATED: Coming months will reveal fate of Greater Victoria’s rental market

As Victoria rents soar, July saw Toronto and Vancouver experience record monthly declines.

Paul Danison, Rentals.ca content director, says Victoria’s 15 per cent year over year jump is “not at all typical.”

“It’s very hard to predict, with this pandemic, what is going on out there,” he said. “Rents are down overall in Canada, but not in Victoria.”

Danison speculates that the COVID-19 pandemic has some people moving out of big cities like Vancouver – possibly driving up the price of rents in Victoria.

“More people want to live in a nice place that isn’t so crowded,” he said. “As you’re losing tourism, I think you might be getting some population gain.”

RELATED: Average rent for one-bedroom in Victoria nears $1,400: PadMapper

Rentals.ca, which bases numbers on vacant units, released similar data for June, reporting, on average, $1,584 for a one-bedroom and $2,109 for a two-bedroom in Victoria that month – yearly increases of 12.7 per cent and 18.9 per cent respectively.

And Danison isn’t sure if things will improve for Victoria anytime soon.

“Luxury condo and higher price units are coming to market soon, but there’s been a stall on the lower-priced end – the more affordable, purpose-built units,” he said.

In May, Danison released a list of impacts the pandemic might have on the rental market. Short-term rentals in urban areas would become long-term rentals, he speculated, and landlords and renters would embrace virtual leasing and touring, along with heavy cleaning protocols.

Danison said most of his predictions have been true for Victoria, except one: a forecast for cheaper rent.

For McCarthy, who is also a dog owner, the Victoria rental search has meant finding a second job and stretching her budget. What started as an $1,100 per month budget has been pushed up to $1,400. Even then, fighting the low vacancy rate has been a challenge.

“I want to make my Victoria my home,” she says. “I have noticed that a post will go up for a place and within a couple of hours its been rented. It’s quick. If you want something you’ve got to do it quickly.”


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Real estaterental market

Just Posted

Divyesh Nagarajan, third from the left, has founded the Be My Friend project to bring support and companionship to vulnerable youth and address North Saanich’s food security challenges. (Courtesy of Divyesh Nagarajan)
Greater Victoria teen looks to connect vulnerable youth with a buddy, bolster food security

Be My Friend project was founded by St. Michaels University School student Divyesh Nagarajan

Greater Victoria is ranked fourth out of 27 Canadian cities for the best places for youth to work in, according to a RBC report. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria among best Canadian cities for youth to work in, says RBC report

Region ranked fourth out of 27, behind Vancouver, Hamilton and Edmonton

Donna Brower (left) and her daughter Carol Anne Penner, members of the Silver Swans – a quilting group of 12 ladies who meet at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary – with a mountain of masks they sewed. (Photo submitted by Julia Dawson)
Saanich quilting group nabs first prize in Volunteer BC photo contest

Silver Swans sewing club raised more than $12,000 for Swan Lake nature sanctuary

Saanich police reported an increase in violent crimes and a drop in traffic incidents in the first three months of 2021 compared to the final quarter of 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police report increase in violent crimes during first quarter of 2021

More domestic violence, less property crime and distracted driving compared to end of 2020

Happy green tomato seedlings wait to be purchased at 3378 Wishart Rd. in Colwood. They’ve been grown especially for the Colwood Garden Society’s fundraiser to build a shed at the community garden. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Colwood Garden Society hopes to raise shed with plant sale

Herbs, vegetable starts, flowers and more for $1, $2 and $3 until May 15

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)
Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

What3words was first created in the U.K. in 2013 and is credited to saving the lives of outdoor enthusiasts around the world. (Contributed)
‘This is a life saving tool’: App helps paramedics find capsized canoeists near Revelstoke

What3words pinpoints the person’s phone location to a three-meter range

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read