Rental Incentives Down in Toronto, Absent in Vancouver

Rental Incentives Down in Toronto, Absent in Vancouver

Although rental markets were rife with move-in incentives as recently as June, those same promotions are now “drying up” across Canada.

This is according to a quarterly update from on the promotional deals and move-in incentives found on six rental sites in the Network.

The report, authored by Marketing Specialist Michael Somoza, reveals that rental incentives were down in Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary, and completely absent from Vancouver’s market in the fourth quarter of 2022. Conversely, promotional listings were ample in Winnipeg and actually increased in Edmonton “where supply of rentals is ample and rents are relatively low for big cities,” according to the report.

This is attributed to the simple fact that landlords no longer need to entice prospective tenants with incentives, as demand continues to outstrip available supply in most major markets.

The rental supply deficit has been compounded by the high-interest-rate environment, which sidelined would-be home-buyers for the better part of 2022 and is yet to relent.

“In Toronto, not nearly as many promotions are being offered in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the previous three years, and most of the dwindling number of promotions are for one or two months free rent,” writes Somoza. There were a few listings, of the just ten promotional offers found, deviating from that trend, including one advertising free high-speed Rogers internet, worth $1,200 in value, and another touting a $200 credit for referrals.

The story is similar in Montreal, with ten promotional listings found, almost all for one or two months of free rent.

Save for Vancouver, Calgary has the fewest number of rental incentives of the five cities examined — a testament to the city’s increasing popularity and fast-growing rental market. Of the six promotional listings available, four offered one, two, or three months of free rent, with two of those listings geared specifically at students. In addition, one listing advertises $0 move-in, a reduced pet fee, discounted internet and cable, and a reduced security deposit, and another offers up exclusive discounts with local businesses, such as Sleep Country.

However, promotional listings were “plentiful and most creative” in Edmonton, writes Somoza, including offers of move-in bonuses, exclusive rates for internet and TV, Amazon gift cards, and energized parking spots.

PUBLISHED: Jan 9, 2023

Written by: Zakiya Kassam