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Halifax’s rent prices up 25 per cent compared to 2022: survey

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According to a national rental report, Nova Scotia’s largest city is seeing a 25 per cent increase in rent compared to this time last year.

One bedroom apartments in Halifax are on average going for more than $2,000 a month, while two bedroom units are averaging more than $2,500.

The report outlines that, going forward, the annual rate of rent growth will continue to increase due to record high population growth and low home ownership affordability.

Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia’s (IPOANS) executive director Kevin Russell said inflationary pressures related to high costs is preventing developers from constructing new homes, which then affects the number of rentals available.

Costs are also increasing in other areas for landlords, explained Russell.

“You have higher mortgage rates, high constructions, higher operating costs and property taxes are definitely higher.”

Russell claims the rent cap is also not helping.

“Particularly in a turnover unit, when a tenant moves out and the unit becomes available, they increase it because they have to subsidize the rent control units which are operating at a loss because of the rent cap. In the end, it affects new renters the most.”

Ryan and Samantha Dodge returned home to Nova Scotia two months ago, after living in Ontario for three years.

Since returning, they have not been able to find a place to live.

“We’re looking for rentals but there’s nothing but sublets with conditions like female only and no men,” explained Samantha.

Both Ryan and Samantha have been standing outside the DoubleTree Hotel shelter in Dartmouth, N.S., holding a sign that reads “Stop forcing working class homeless.”

They are standing outside the new shelter after learning that people making more than $1,200 per month will no longer qualify to live there.

Ryan said with the current rental market, it’s pricing people like him out of a home.

“Just because somebody has a little bit of money doesn’t mean that they’re OK and they’re ready to go back into the world and are going to have a place right away.”

Despite bringing home $1,500 after tax per month, the Dodge’s say finding a place to live has been impossible.

“It’s looking like we won’t have a place this summer,” said Ryan.

In Halifax, Christina Henneberry lives in a one-bedroom apartment with her son.

While she is fortunate to have a place to call home, it comes with its own hardships.

“I work seven days a week and it feels like I’m working nothing but to keep a roof over my head. I feel like you can’t get ahead [financially] without a partner.”

IPOANS said the province has a small number of rental housing providers with many already leaving the business.

The organizations believes housing availability is going to continue decreasing.

They believe government has to start providing incentives to develop or Halifax’s rental situation is going to get worse.

For the latest Nova Scotia news, visit our dedicated provincial page.

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