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2021 Calgary’s rental market

Calgary’s rental market is projected to remain more or less the same in 2021, while other Canadian cities’ asking rent could rebound up by as much as 5%-7% by the end of the year.

Rent prices could go even lower in the first four to five months of 2021, but may then increase through much of the country towards the end of the year.

Based on a report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation released in January, the average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Calgary is $1,090 per month. Two-bedrooms are the most expensive option, with an average rent of $1,325.

There has been a rising vacancy rate in the city, with downtown Calgary having the largest vacancy increase at 8.8% last year compared to 3.4% in 2019.

Rental demand has decreased due to a combination of the economic impact of the pandemic, oil sector job losses, and the border closure leading to restricted immigration.

A continued rise in rental supply, with a steady pace of rental building completions in 2020 at an increase of 3.2%, has also played a role in the lower demand.

The average rent in Calgary rose slightly to $1,195 as property owners use non-price measures to compete for tenants, with incentives such as free utilities, lower deposit fees, and cash bonuses.

However, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout may have a positive effect on the economy, allowing for more employment opportunities and job stability. In turn, this could lead to an influx of qualified renters, which means that owners and developers might begin increasing rents in the second half of 2021.

If not required to return to their offices downtown, renters may also be more flexible in the area of the city they live in, opting to live in larger or more affordable spaces outside of the city centre.