Like most places around the world, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects spilled over into the long-term rental market, impacting rental demand, price, and availability.  

Landlord’s Market 

The St. John’s rental market is currently situated in a way which favors landlords. There is a markedly low supply of properties, with vacancy reaching rates indicating near-full occupancy of long-term rental units. In the broader province of Newfoundland and Labrador, vacancy rates have fallen to lows not seen in nearly 10 years. Various elements have impacted this rate. For instance, former rental unit owners sold off their properties in a “hot” real estate market in 2020, decreasing the supply of rental units available to potential executive renters in St. John’s. 

Demand for Housing 

The arrival of more individuals to St. John’s has also impacted demand. Sources said the re-opening of the university in the area increased demand for rental properties. Further, more people have arrived and stayed in St. John’s overall. It is seen as a “safe haven” from the COVID-19 pandemic and attracted new residents, including retirees and remote workers. Additionally, start-ups and the oil industry have kept workers flowing into St. John’s. Lack of major construction of new long-term rental properties makes it difficult for supply to meet the high demand, and rents increased over the past 6 to 12 months. 

The market is expected to remain steady over the coming year. The trend of steady rental demand and low rental supply is expected to continue over the coming year, but sources predict more stable rents. 

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