Beat the high rent with an apartment swap

Montréal is famous for its bagels, poutine, and… apartment swaps? 

Driving the news: As Montréal’s annual rent growth outpaces most of the country, some residents are swapping apartments to lock in leases below market value. Trading leases instead of shopping on the open real estate market is one creative way to keep prices at bay. 

  • In July, the city recorded annual rent growth of 15.3%, hitting an average of $1,987.
  • Meanwhile, nationwide, the average asking rent price hit a record high of $2,042.  

Why it matters: The growing secondary market of apartment swapping highlights how skyrocketing rental prices continue to outpace Canadians’ earnings. A recent report by the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives showed that ‘rental wages’ are falling well behind.

Bottom line: As of October 2022, the wages needed to afford an average-priced apartment without spending over 30% of your income was $25.97 in Ontario and $16.62 in Québec. In major cities, where rents are the most expensive, those numbers are even higher. —LA