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Move-in bonuses, free parking offered by ‘desperate’ Victoria landlords

It’s a crowded rental market, but not all places getting snapped up
Not all rental units are getting snapped up by renters. (Ron Cogswell/Flickr)

Cole Anderson says he’s one of “lucky ones” when it comes to renting in Greater Victoria.

He was given several months of notice from his Victoria landlord as the home he lives in is being sold so he’s had more time to find the right place for him. That has meant looking at “probably a thousand” listings on such sites as Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.

He’s one person in a very crowded rental market in which viewing appointments can have 20 people lined up at a time.

One thing he’s noticed, however, is that some rental listings are not getting snapped up as quickly as others – with listings being repeated over June, July and August.

“You get to know all the places being offered for rent because the inventory isn’t that big,” Anderson said. “And I’ve seen some places that I considered overpriced sitting on the market.”

A couple of those places, Anderson said, have been reduced in price, but others are now being advertised with inducements such as free parking or a “move-in bonus” of up to $1,000.

“I think as August was coming to a close, a few of these landlords were a little desperate, but instead of lowering the price, they’ve offered a cash bonus or more freebies,” he said. “We’ll see if it works.”

Victoria continues to be one of the most expensive rental housing markets in all of Canada.

According to the site Zumper, Victoria in August continued to rank in fourth place in the country with one-bedroom rent staying stable at $2,020, while two-bedrooms increased 1.9 per cent to $2,670.

Canadian rents continue to climb in the summer as nearly all cities, except for 2, had growing year-over-year rates. Vancouver rent reached another all-time high with one-bedrooms hitting $2,800. Halifax moved up 2 spots and into the top 5 with one-bedroom rent jumping 4.4 per cent, which was the largest monthly growth rate in the nation, to settle at $1,910. Meanwhile, Windsor experienced the biggest monthly rent price decline, falling 3.7 per cent to $1,300.

This month we’re introducing our Canadian National Rent Index, which covers the median national rent rates across the country. The national one-bedroom rent was up 0.6 per cent to $1,833 in July 2023, while the national two-bedroom price climbed 0.5 per cent to $2,285. On a year-over-year basis, both bedroom types are up 15 per cent (comparing July 2022 to July 2023).

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Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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