Rental rates in Grande Prairie should drop due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Rentals.ca.

It says March has seen rates for one-bedroom apartments drop by 2.2 per cent month-over-month, and two bedrooms drop by one per cent. The average for a one-bedroom in Grande Prairie is reportedly $1,020 and $1,201 for a two-bedroom apartment.

(Rentals.ca)

Content Director with Rentals.ca Paul Danison believes job loss will be a major factor affecting rates in the near future is job loss. He says there will also be fewer people vacationing, which will affect short-term rentals. The result may cause short-term rentals to become long-term rentals adding to the supply for renters.

Rates should also be impacted by the country’s borders being closed to non-essential travel, and students staying home instead of moving due to uncertainty with school or jobs.

“With the onset of the coronavirus, I think things are going to change everywhere, even the outlying cities. I think with the vacancy rate at 5.1 per cent in 2019, that it will go up a little bit,” notes Danison.

“I think in the long run everything will slowly come back, I don’t expect things to boomerang but the economy, housing, everything will come back a bit.”

Rentals.ca mentions many tenants are likely choosing to

(Rentals.ca)

stay in their residence until health concerns are reduced and economic uncertainty dissipates. It says potential home buyers may put off purchasing a home and continue to stay in the rental market to upgrade, boosting rental demand.

Nationally, the average for rent dropped 3 per cent in March month-over-month, according to the March 2020 National Rentals Report from Rentals.ca.