Rights & Money

Condos Prices Are Getting Out of Reach

It’s harder than ever to go from renting to owning a condo in most of the country


 By Jennifer Hughes

 Photo: iStock/YvanDube


The difference in cost between renting an apartment and owning a condo is the largest it’s ever been in Canada, according to a report from RBC.

Rising house prices in Canada’s largest markets have increased demand for condos, and that demand has led to higher prices for condos, making them less and less affordable. As a result, it’s far cheaper to rent in these markets than to buy a condo, so many would-be buyers are likely to remain renters for some time.

“The appeal of condo ownership is diminishing relative to renting an apartment in Canada’s priciest markets,” says the RBC Economics Housing Trends Affordability Report, which came out in March 2019. Even though rents have increased across the country, renting is still more affordable than buying a condo.

To go from renting an apartment to living in a condo of your own would cost you an extra $1,553 in Vancouver, $1,138 in Toronto, and $904 in Montreal. In only two of the 14 markets RBS looked at did it cost less to own a condo than to rent—Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

Though owning a condo is still more affordable than owning a single-family house, “its appeal is quickly diminishing relative to rental options in Canada’s priciest markets,” the report says. So while there are still countless condos being built every day, fewer and fewer people are interested in moving in.