Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Has an exodus of B.C. residents lowered Metro Vancouver rent prices?

Rental prices in Vancouver did not slow down just because some of its locals left.
Apartments for rent in Metro Vancouver cities like Richmond, Burnaby and Coquitlam are lower than in Vancouver despite their populations increasing rapidly.

Metro Vancouver rent prices continue to rank at the top of Canada's most expensive markets, influencing locals to find cheaper cities.

Four of the five priciest rental markets in Canada are located in the Lower Mainland — and it appears that renters have taken note, according to a report from

For the first time in over a decade, more British Columbians moved out of the province than residents of any other provinces have moved outside of their own. 

But the outflow of locals didn't stop the population from growing. 

Due to immigration, B.C. had its largest population growth since 1974, growing by three per cent between July 2022 and July 2023. In 2023, Canada saw its highest immigration levels since 2011.

Richmond saw the highest population growth of any city in the province, with its population growing by a whopping 10 per cent.  Burnaby and Coquitlam followed in second and third, with their populations growing by eight per cent and seven per cent, respectively. 

Vancouver didn't see a "substantial population growth," ranking ninth among 10 cities in the region and growing by two per cent.

Are there cheaper apartments for rent in Vancouver due to a lower population growth?

Across Canada, the average monthly rent price for an unfurnished one-bedroom unit was $1,857.

In Metro Vancouver, rental prices for a newly listed unfurnished, one-bedroom apartment rose by $26 from $2,341 in December 2023 to $2,367 in January 2024. That puts prices in the Lower Mainland in 2024 at roughly $510 above the national average in 2023. 

Prices in January 2023 weren't significantly cheaper in Metro Vancouver. The region's rentals averaged $2,257, or $400 more than the national average.

Vancouver's population might not have increased by much, but its rental prices showed no signs of slowing down.

One-bedroom units cost significantly more in Vancouver proper, West Vancouver, and North Vancouver than they do in other cities across the region. 

West Vancouver topped the region and Canada for its rental prices, with its one-bedroom, unfurnished units averaging $2,819 this January; it also had the highest prices for two- and three-bedroom units. 

North Vancouver was the second-most expensive city to rent an unfurnished unit, with its one-bedroom spots averaging just under $100 less than West Vancouver at $2,715. 

The City of Vancouver was the third-priciest market, with its one-bedroom, unfurnished units averaging $2,627 this month. Prices fell by 1.19 per cent from last month when it was the priciest place to rent.