B.C. studio, one-bedroom apartments the most expensive per square foot

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Looking at the price per square foot, studio apartments in British Columbia are the most expensive rental properties on the Canadian market, according to a report.

The report published last week, which also looked at more traditional markers such as overall average price by property type, looked at what landlords were asking in the month of March based on the area of rental units.

What Rentals.ca's national rent report found was that, based on this marker, a studio apartment on the West Coast is as pricey as it gets.

According to the report, an average studio apartment goes for $3.74 a month per square foot. Obviously, a studio is still cheaper than a larger apartment, but looking only at the monthly rate and area, those who moved into a studio paid more.

Studios were the most expensive based on this metric for all provinces except Nova Scotia. Bachelor apartments in Ontario went for an average of $3.72 per square foot.

Renters in B.C. who were able to spend more per month for a larger space paid less for the square footage. The rate for a one-bedroom in the province was $3.28, compared to $2.78 for a two-bedroom apartment and $2.30 for a third bedroom.

Four-bedroom homes cost new renters an average of $1.65 per square foot, based on listings on Rentals.ca in March.

Of course, there's not much value in that knowledge, as most people set their budget based on what they can afford overall and have to accept what they pay per square foot.

Looking at that, it's no surprise that B.C. landlords were asking for more on average in March than those in the rest of Canada, with studios listed at approximately $1,600 and one-bedrooms at $1,808.

Two-bedroom units were listed at $2,324, on average, while landlords with three-bedroom homes asked for an extra $600 a month on top of that, and four-bedrooms were going for about $3,525.

The averages are based on new leases, not on what existing tenants paid, meaning those who've been in their homes for a while are likely paying less.

As it almost always does, Vancouver outpaced the rest of the country in the latest report, which was compiled with Bullpen Research and Consulting.

According to the report, the average rent for all property types in Vancouver last month was $2,925. The average for the country overall was more than $1,000 less, at $1,818.

The rate is not only high for Canada as a whole, but high for Vancouver itself. The March 2022 rate is up nearly 30 per cent from the average in the same month last year.

The average for one-bedrooms, according to the report, was $2,280 last month, and landlords expected $3,122 for two-bedrooms.