Never has there been a better time to move
By CJ Sommerfeld, Staff Writer
The high cost of rent in Vancouver is a bit absurd. With so many people having left the city due to COVID, however, renters have been left with an optimal renting market. Rental availability has finally skyrocketed, while rent itself has done the opposite.
For years previous, it seemed like finding somewhere to move into (let alone something affordable) was nearly impossible. And, while we have endless COVID-induced complaints, my recent moving ventures have shown me that not all of the pandemic’s repercussions have been negative. This month I realized that there has never been a better time to rent in Vancouver than now!
This pandemic has shown us that many things that we had adapted to doing in-person can be done virtually. This includes viewing a rental unit. That’s right, the days of awkwardly following a stranger through an empty unit, kindly opening up the kitchen cabinets, and peering behind shower curtains may be en route to extinction. Let’s face it, we probably don’t want to verbalize what is comical or horrible in a unit while the landlord is assisting you in its walkthrough—or at least I am too shy to do so.
With a virtual viewing, however, there is no need to worry if a landlord hears your droll comments, because they are not there with you during these sorts of showings. We can rewind, zoom in, comment away, and die laughing by ourselves or with whomever our chosen new home hunting buddy is. Not to mention that virtual viewings allow us to house hunt during the most unusual hours and times, meaning that we will probably be able to squeeze in more viewings than if we were to have to commute to each one.
Not only has viewing accessibility increased, so has the number of rental options. The Vancouver we know today is built on immigration and multiculturalism. People have moved here from everywhere for school, work, or just to view the mountains for a short bit. It often seems that few people who live in Vancouver were born here, and while the diversity of Vancouver would not be so if it were not for so many people moving to Vancouver, with many international students and persons with work visas having left Vancouver, rental availability has increased. This means that there are more choices for those who are still in Vancouver.
My recent experiences have shown me that landlords are scrambling to fill up their empty basement suites and other units. It seems that they know that renters now have so many options; if a suite is pricey, they will probably just move on. I assume that this is why CTV News reports that rent has decreased. That’s right—finally—Vancouver rent has decreased. Before, most of us were paying an arm and a leg’s worth of rental costs. Now, the supply is high, and the demand is low!
Hopefully, this pandemic concludes sooner than later, and people can start returning to Vancouver. Until then, perhaps those of us who are no longer living at home can all find a new rental suite at a lower cost than we’re paying now. Or perhaps now is the time to leave the nest—although I do enjoy the family theatre that occurs in the background of some of my classmates’ Zoom videos. Either way, we can all enjoy the virtual viewings.