by Stephen Ursery
Entrata, the maker of the multifamily industry’s leading operating system, today announced a new study, which reveals that 29% of Canadian renters moved within the last year, with another 51% planning to move once their current lease is up. The survey gives a unique view into the Canadian rental market during an industry and world-shifting time.
“The last two years have been life-changing for people, industries and businesses across the globe,” said Chris Harrington, Entrata’s chief revenue officer. “Our survey of Canadian renters shows that many have moved to larger spaces to accommodate work from home needs, moved back to hometowns and some even moved to the city to take advantage of lower rental rates. We’re seeing a shift in the industry as renters look for more flexible leasing options and think differently about apartment amenities.”
Key findings from the survey include:
To Rent, or To Buy?
Canadian renters’ plans have changed in recent years. Of those who responded to the survey:
- Two-thirds say that renting fits their current lifestyle more than owning a home.
- Almost half want to stop renting and own a home within the next 3 years.
- 43% say they need more space, possibly to accommodate ongoing work-from-home needs.
The main reasons Canadians stated for currently renting instead of owning are cost-related, with the inability to afford a down payment on a home and homeownership being too expensive.
The Role of Amenities
With more time at home, many Canadian renters now place a higher priority on on-site amenities. For example:
- Nearly 38% of Canadian apartment renters say that on-site amenities are why they love renting.
- The most important on-site amenity for Canadian apartment renters is high-speed internet — with controlled secure building access and in-unit laundry coming close behind.
Nearly all Canadian apartment renters care at least a little about on-site amenities now versus before the pandemic — and 13% say they make or break a rental property now.
An overwhelming majority of Canadians renters who moved in the last year say they experienced moving difficulties due to COVID-19, with some of the top hardships including:
- Difficulty finding rental units in their price range
- Family and friends being unavailable to help with moving
- Not being able to find a rental with their desired rental terms
Because of the pandemic, one-third of Canadian renters switched to month-to-month payments, including half of millennials and 39% of Gen Z. Out of all Canadian renters, nearly a quarter say their interest in month-to-month rent payments has increased in the last year, with nearly half saying it’s nice to have more financial flexibility and 37% saying they like not having to worry about picking a place they’ll be forced to live in for a year.