Oshawa cracks Canadian top 5 most expensive rental markets

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Published March 21, 2022 at 11:12 am

The financial hits keep coming for Oshawa residents as rental prices skyrocket to a new all-time high, placing the city among the top five most expensive places to rent in Canada.

Oshawa joins the five priciest cities in the country after a 5.2 per cent jump in one-bedroom rental prices this month. This brings average one-bedroom prices up to $1,630 a month. A simultaneous 1.6 per cent jump in two-bedroom prices brings them to an average of $1,860 per month.

Per the Zumper report, Oshawa falls behind only Vancouver ($2,190/$3,020), Toronto ($1,900/$2,400), Kelowna ($1,800/ $2,150), and Victoria ($1,790/$2,300).

Barrie fell to sixth place with a month-over-month drop in one-bedroom rents by 3.7 per cent to $1,550, clearing the way for Oshawa to become the second most expensive retail market in Ontario.

Kitchener jumped into seventh with a 2.7 per cent increase this month to $1,500, moving three spots up the list in the largest change recorded.

Other Ontario markets in the top 24 include; Ottawa (8), St. Catherines (9), Hamilton and KIngston (tied for 11), London (15), and Windsor (16).

“There was a lot of movement in the the top markets,” notes the Zumper report, “The more affordable half of the Canadian cities stayed relatively stable.”

Zumpers monthly reports aggregates listing data from tens of thousands of listing in Canada’s 24 most populous metropolitan areas then crunching those numbers to find the median prices.

Oshawa’s other housing markets, condos and house sales, have also exploded in price over the pandemic period. Strata.ca, called Oshawa “the hottest market to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” stressing that more talked-about “booming suburbs” in Brampton, Mississauga, and Vaughan “come nowhere close to what’s happening in Durham’s largest municipality.”

“Given today’s migrational trends, it’s not surprising to see Oshawa, and Durham Region as a whole, outpace the rest of the GTA. Whitby, for example, may not be as hot as Oshawa. But it, too, is seeing an increase of 20% in property values over the past year,” says Strata founder Robert Van Rhijn.

“Oshawa is no longer that sleepy bedroom community you once knew. I used to hear a lot of Toronto homebuyers swear they’d never go past Pickering. But with today’s remote working options, I’m seeing more clients push their geographic boundaries and wonder what’s further east,” adds Van Rhijn.

This mass-exodus from Toronto over the pandemic period is contributing to a population explosion in Durham Region. More than 1.2 million people are expected to call Durham home by 2041, nearly twice the 673,000 listed on the 2016 census.

MPP of Oshawa Jennifer French addressed the Ford government in Question Period on March 8. Stressing that house prices have increased 500 per cent since 1996, she asked what the solutions for the “housing crisis” in Oshawa and Durham are.

Fielding the question for Premier Doug Ford, Housing Minister Steve Clark said Ontario introduced a housing supply action plan in 2019 with a “suite of new measures” that he claimed “resulted in tremendous new construction being built.”

Since January 2019, per Zumper, Oshawa median rent for a one-bedroom has increased 40 per cent or nearly $500 from $1,190/month to $1,668.

Meanwhile the average price of a home, per Zolo, has risen from $778,000 in March 2021 to $1.08 million today, a 38.8 per cent rise.

“Areas like Oshawa used to be affordable for average income families like myself, but now Oshawa is becoming a difficult city to reach,” French quoted a resident in her address saying. “Where should my children settle if they can’t plan a future in Oshawa?”

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