British Columbia

Vancouver rental market competition heats up

Vancouver landlords are holding open houses and offering cash incentives to find good tenants in an increasingly competitive market.

Increase in vacancy rate induces competition among property owners

With slightly higher vacancy rates, managers are offering incentives to win over tenants 2:04

Looking for rental housing in Vancouver may be getting a little easier as vacancy rates edge up and with some landlords offering incentives to get good tenants.

Hollyburn Properties has been holding open houses for rental accommodation in Vancouver’s West End, a ploy unique in what has been a building owner’s, not a renter’s market.

Freshly renovated one-bedroom, one-bath apartments are on offer for $1,250 a month – not a bargain, but the company is throwing in three months free parking or $200 cash as an incentive.

"We're very proud of the product that we have," said Allen Wasel of Hollyburn. "We'll do open houses and we'll keep offering incentives to get people into our buildings just to see our product."

There are other signs it’s becoming a more competitive rental market, says Amy Spencer, of the Rental Housing Council of B.C.

"We've got some really great landlords that have some good buildings with energy efficiency upgrades. Some of them are offering things like no rent increases, free high-speed internet, upgraded suites, so it's an exciting time to be a renter actually," Spencer said.

That's good news for renters like Vancouver’s Joy Pecknold, who’s looking for a one-bedroom suite.

"That's really exciting to hear because I think a lot of renters in Vancouver have felt like they've gotten the shaft."

But it does appear unlikely that rents will drop.

Even though landlords are competing for good tenants, Vancouver remains one of the tightest rental markets in whole the country. 

With files from the CBC's Chad Pawson