The partnership is aimed at clarifying details about the Canadian rental housing market and offering the Rental Market Industry Index as a source of reliable data.
“Through this new partnership we’re able to get data in the hands of more institutions, policy makers, developers and the Canadian public as a whole to ensure that everyone is more informed (and) to ensure that informed decisions are being made based on what is happening in the markets so we can all tackle this supply crisis,” David Aizikov, a senior data analyst at Rentals.ca, told RENX Homes in an interview.
Toronto-headquartered Rentals.ca will be providing Statistics Canada with rental listing data, while Statistics Canada will perform the “analysis, aggregation, and development of the Rental Market Industry Index,” according to the announcement.
The Rental Market Industry Index
“The intention is not track everything much like what CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) does with their average rents, because really that is not indicative of what the current renter might experience if they go to market looking for a new unit,” he explained.
Instead, the index will focus on current market rents.
Aizikov could not disclose an exact date for when the index will be first published nor how it would be made available to the public, but said the reports are to begin during 2024.
Rentals.ca offers a listing service, and provides a range of rental housing data for purchase to its clients.
Forging the partnership
The idea for the partnership was formed when Rentals.ca management considered its breadth of data coverage and then realized there was not much reporting and discussion around rental housing trends in Canada, Aizikov said.
Rentals.ca publishes its own a monthly report on rental housing in partnership with research firm Urbanation, which provides data on average asking rents for many Canadian markets, but that is only a small portion of the data the company has available.
Statistics Canada reached out to Rentals.ca and asked if the company was interested in sharing data with the agency.
“We happily obliged of course and then we started a process of data sharing with them,” Aizikov said.
Rentals.ca collects rental housing data such as monthly rents per listing, supply on the market, availability over time, days on market, price fluctuations and the size of rental units.
In an early version of its analysis for the month, Rentals.ca has found rents are continuing to decrease across Canada, though at an uneven rate across major markets, according to Aizikov.
He also identified a decline on the demand side that is accelerating relative to November 2023. The cold winter weather and holiday season are fuelling this trend, he explained.
Rentals.ca is planning to release its next monthly report by Jan. 12.