The price of rent in Grande Prairie is seeing a small uptick month over month in 2020, but, due in large part to the pandemic, it is still down from this time last year.

According to the rentals.ca monthly report, the average price of a one-bedroom home sits at $984 in the Swan City, while a two-bedroom is going for $1,168. Month over month, that represents a slight increase of 0.4 percent for a one-bedroom in October and 1.3 percent for a two-bedroom. However, that is still a 2.7 percent decrease for a one-bedroom and 3.2 percent drop for a two-bedroom when looking at the price from the same period in 2019.

Rentals.ca Content Director Paul Danison says the numbers are showing signs of an economy that is at least partially recovering. He suggests, however, that the latest pandemic numbers may halt that progress.

“Things with COVID-19 are moving in the wrong direction, just about when things were starting to move in the right direction with the economy,” he says.

Danison adds the pandemic has also seen the desires of potential renters change over the past few months, as the proximity to a school is no longer the top demand.

“Being near a grocery store has ticked up a little bit, along with people wanting to be next to parks because we aren’t going to event type things as we once were,” he says.

“They’re looking for a quiet neighbourhood because a lot of people are working from home and they don’t want a bunch of noise.”

Danison says he expects the prices to stabilize as the march towards a potential vaccine for the virus remains on the horizon.

“On the horizon though, there are the vaccinations that people might get in the springtime, or so, and I think we are hoping for that for sure.”

Grande Prairie sits 29th out of 35 cities across Canada when it comes to the affordability of rent.