December provided the first reprieve for Metro Vancouver renters since July, as apartment prices dropped nearly $100 across the region.
This month, the average cost to rent an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit is $2,227, down $90 from November when the average was $2,317, according to Liv.rent's latest rent report.
But a look back over the past year provides a less sunny outlook on what may be in store for tenants in the new year.
While a couple of months saw average prices decrease, the vast majority saw at least marginal, if not significant, increases.
And at the start of 2022, the average cost for an unfurnished one-bedroom in the Lower Mainland was $1,827, which is a whopping $400 lower than the average price for the final month of the year.
Prices began to climb in February, with units averaging $1,840 across Metro Vancouver, up from $1,827 in January. At that time, locals were spending an average of over 40 per cent of their income on rent, which was "well above the recommended 30 [per cent] income-to-rent ratio," Liv.rent noted.
Costs continued their upward momentum into March, albeit somewhat modestly, climbing $16 to $1,856 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom apartment. By this point, the City of Vancouver already had the highest rent in Canada, with units averaging $2,039 in March.
Metro Vancouver's rental prices increased again in April, with unfurnished, one-bedroom units averaging $1,908, up from $1,856 in March. North Vancouver and West Vancouver were the most expensive cities in the region, beating out the City of Vancouver, with units averaging $2,344 and $2,196, respectively.
Prices soared to $2,016 for unfurnished units in May, increasing by a hefty $108 over April. The company noted that the region had hit "sky-high levels" heading into the peak rental season during the summer.
Metro Vancouver prices didn't slow down in June, climbing $40 to $2,056 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit. This price marked an all-time high for the region.
Locals finally saw prices drop slightly in July, with unfurnished, one-bedroom units averaging $2,029, down $27 from June. Despite this, one Metro Vancouver city continued to see the highest average rental costs in the country. North Vancouver units averaged a staggering $2,509 that month.
Metro Vancouver apartment rental prices climb back up
The decrease in costs didn't continue into August, however, as prices climbed by $147 up to $2,176. Similarly, rental prices climbed up in September, rising $71 to an average of $2,247 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit.
While prices also increased in October, they only increased by a modest $9, making the average cost for an unfurnished one-bedroom apartment $2,256.
The upward trend continued into November, with prices climbing $71 to an average of $2,317 for an unfurnished one-bedroom rental unit.
While prices have tapered off this December, falling to $2,227 for the region, four Metro Vancouver cities claim the top spots on the list of the four most expensive ones to rent in across the country.
Following Vancouver at $2,612 is North Vancouver with its prices averaging $2,587. Burnaby ranked third overall, with prices averaging $2,406. Richmond rounded out the top four, with prices averaging $2,332.