rennie insights: Changing Rental Housing Dynamics and the Pandemic

It is clear that over the past year the Covid-19 pandemic has created challenges for virtually all individuals, businesses, and sectors of the economy. Housing markets have bifurcated, with the for-sale segment of Canada’s housing markets, including here in Metro Vancouver, seeing demand soar while supply remains constrained.

Metro Vancouver’s rental market has undergone changes that have contrasted with those in the ownership market, with the vacancy rate rising and rent growth slowing. The cause are many, including job losses, a drop-off in immigration, new rental supply, and a changing dynamic between the short-term and long-term rental markets.

Against the backdrop of anecdotes and conjecture, this report synthesizes rental market data from a number of sources to provide insights into the likely causes, more and less, of the softening of Metro Vancouver’s rental market in 2020.

Our rennie intelligence team comprises our in-house demographer, senior economist, and market analysts. Together, they empower individuals, organizations, and institutions with data-driven market insight and analysis. Experts in urban land economics, community planning, shifting demographics, and real estate trends, their strategic research supports a comprehensive advisory service offering and forms the basis of frequent reports and public presentations. Their thoughtful and objective approach truly embodies the core values of rennie.

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Outlier demand-side activity in the Vancouver Region’s housing market is making it challenging to separate fact from fiction. What does the data really tell us?


Here are price per square foot averages for woodframe pre-sale homes, based on the date of each project's first home sale.


Here are the number of actively-selling, sold-out, and contemplated woodframe pre-sale homes by sub-market and estimated year of completion.