Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (CAPREIT), one of Canada’s largest landlords, is offering one-month free rent for selected Vancouver apartments, joining scores of other such offerings in the city.
On June 16 there were at least 100 apartment listings on Craigslist Vancouver, where tenants were offered one month free rent or other incentives, including from major landlords such as CAPREIT, Gateway Property Management and Trans Pacific Realty.
CAPREIT, which has 5,100 rental apartments in B.C. and owns or manages 65,000 rental units across Canada, is offering one-month free rent at its Ocean Park Place apartments at 990 Broughton Street in the Vancouver’s west end, where rents range from $1,595 for studio suites to $2,495 per month for a two-bedroom.
Trans Pacific will give tenants one-half month free for the first month and half-month free for the sixth month on one-year leases at 2150 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver, where one-bedrooms rent for $1,995 per month.
At the luxury high-rise Vancouver House at 1480 Howe Street, tenants are being offered free parking, free cable and free internet for a year, for a 515-square-foot apartments that rent for $2,450 per month.
Many of the incentives are being offered near the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, where landlords are suffering from an exodus of foreign students due to the pandemic. June 16 listings on Craigslist included seven UBC apartment buildings and condos offering one-month free rent or other special deals.
Few of the incentives include an actual rent reduction. This is due partly to the current pandemic-induced rent increase freeze in effect since March across British Columbia, and provincial rent controls that cap annual rent increases at 2.6 per cent this year. Under these rules, it would be difficult for a landlord to recover a reduction in rent over even a one-year period.
But Vancouver rents are declining according to one study.
A June survey of Vancouver rentals by PadMapper, a listing portal, found that one and two-bedroom rents had dropped 5 per cent and 6.3 per cent, respectively, in June compared to a year earlier.
“This the largest year-over-year declines for this city ever reported since we started tracking [Vancouver] rent prices in 2016,” according to a PadMapper release.
Vancouver still had the second-highest rents in Canada in June, at an average of $2,100 for a one-bedroom apartment and $3,000 for a two-bedroom apartment, PadMapper reported.