IPOANS response sent to The Chronicle Herald

Report: Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Halifax will cost you 20% more than in 2020

Reporter Nicole Munroe’s headline “Report: Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Halifax will cost you 20% more than in 2020” is misleading and not reflective of Halifax’s apartment rental market.

Ms. Munroe’s article quoted from Rentals.ca is not based on Halifax’s entire universe of purpose-built rental units but on asking rents of vacated units only, a tiny sliver of Halifax’s rental universe.

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) rental reports include the entire rental market, including all purpose-built rental buildings with more than three apartment units. CMHC reported an annual rent increase of 4.1% across the whole Halifax market as of October 2020, an increase driven primarily by increased operating and maintenance costs.

Ms. Munroe’s article failed to consider Halifax’s two rental markets, older existing and newly constructed purpose-built rental stock, with the latter having significantly higher rents to recover the cost of new construction and financing. Conflating these two distinct rental markets resulted in a misleading and incendiary headline not based on reality.

If the article’s purpose were to inflame industry stakeholders working diligently to secure affordable solutions, the piece was successful. The article failed miserably if the report aimed to provide readers with evidence-based information on Halifax’s affordable housing market.

Saltwire Network’s readers concerned about affordable housing deserve evidence-based news reporting.

Kevin Russell
Executive Director
The Investment Properties Owners Association of Nova Scotia