In a startling turn of events, Canadian rental prices have soared to unprecedented levels, surpassing income growth for the first time in 60 years, according to a recent report by BMO. The surge in rental prices, with an annual growth rate of 8.2% in October 2023, is the highest recorded since 1983. This alarming trend is outpacing the underlying trend in personal income, which has seen average annualized growth of 3.9% over the past five years .
The root causes of this phenomenon can be traced back to the excessive leverage facilitated by the prolonged period of low interest rates. Central bank research indicates that keeping interest rates excessively low for an extended period has contributed to inflated home prices worldwide, including in Canada . This has allowed investors to dominate the market, displacing first-time buyers and further driving up housing costs.
The impact of this surge in rental prices goes beyond economic implications. It highlights a critical failure of the central banking system and raises concerns about the sustainability and affordability of housing for Canadians. The scale at which rapid leverage expansion has driven up home prices and subsequently influenced rental costs hasn't been witnessed since the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement and the era of "too big to fail" banks. This is a rare event in the global monetary standard and calls for a closer examination of the policies and mechanisms governing the housing market.
As Canadians grapple with the soaring cost of renting, it becomes imperative to address the underlying factors contributing to this situation. Finding a balance between stimulating economic growth and ensuring affordable housing for all citizens is crucial. The current state of escalating rental prices serves as a wake-up call, urging policymakers to reevaluate their strategies and take necessary steps to rectify this critical failure of the central banking system.
: Source: Canadian Rents Outpace Income For The First Time In 60 Years: BMO
: Source: Central bank research on low interest rates and home prices
By: Sarah Colucci
Senior Mortgage Agent, Lic. M14000929