Canada or USA: Differences in Rental Prices
COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~ August 16, 2022 (LSNews) When deciding which side of the Canada / US border to choose when moving house, there are several things to consider to determine where you’ll experience the best quality of life. Your apartment of house is one of the most important indicators in your life. The price you pay, the comfortability you got - sometimes vary. While Rentola makes the search for rental properties on both sides of the border a straightforward exercise with its extensive range of properties, it’s hard to know where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
This guide to rental prices in Ontario and the northern states of the US will help demystify the decision and help you make the right choice for you.
Comparing the Cost of Living
Comparing the cost of living between two different countries is a difficult thing to do, particularly when taking into account exchange rates.
In addition, even when comparing relatively small areas of two vast countries such as Canada and the US, it’s essential to bear in mind that the cost of living varies enormously between metropolitan areas such as Toronto and St. Pauls and rural areas.
Other factors to consider when comparing whether it makes more financial sense to live on one side of the border or the other include tax rates, average income and cost of utilities.
For example, the cost of a litre of gas in Canada is significantly higher than in the US, while private health insurance in the US is almost double that of Canada.
Rental Prices in Ontario
Ontario is second only to British Columbia in terms of average monthly rents in Canada, with six of the top ten most expensive cities in Canada being based in Ontario.
Toronto is second to Vancouver as Canada’s most expensive city, with average rents at $2,463 as of June 2022, well above the national average in Canada, which stands at $1,885. The provincial average for Ontario also significantly exceeds the national average at $2,232.
Renters in Toronto, Oakville, Burlington and Guelph, can expect to pay above the national average for a 1-bedroom apartment. In contrast, Cambridge, Mississauga, and Kitchener’s 1-bedroom rentals are slightly below the national average for any property.
Rental Prices in Northern Michigan
In Northern Michigan, near the Canadian border, average rental prices range from $900 to $1,050 per month for a 2- or 3-bed property.
While Michigan ranks 39th in terms of rent in 56 states and territories in the US, rents in the Northern counties of the state are generally lower than those in the mid-west, south and southeast of the state.
For example, the average rent in Ontonagon County on the border with Canada is $913 per month compared with prices in neighbouring Gogebic County of $1,050 per month. These figures are for properties of all sizes.
In Ontonagon county, renters can expect to pay around $614 per month for a 1-bedroom property, with prices in Gogebic at a similar level; however, prices for larger 3- and 4-bedroom properties in Gogebic are significantly higher than in Ontonagon.
Rental Prices in Minnesota
Rental prices in Minnesota are higher than in Northern Michigan, with the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in 2021 costing $663 per month.
This figure varies considerably across Minnesota, with rentals in rural areas, such as Aitkin County, costing on average $557 per month, while in metropolitan areas such as St. Paul-Bloomington in Anoka County, fetching on average $1,054 per month.
This discrepancy between rural and metropolitan areas continues as the size of property increases, with rents for four-bedroom houses in St. Paul-Bloomington costing more than double those in Aitkin County.
Rental Prices in Wisconsin
Meanwhile, prices in Wisconsin are comparable with those in Northern Michigan and cheaper than those in neighbouring Minnesota, with an average rent of $637 for a 1-bedroom apartment across the state.
These rents range from $560 for a 1-bedroom apartment in rural Ashland County to $1,054 in St.Paul Bloomington (Pierce County) on the western edge of the state. This is consistent with the rentals charged in St. Paul Bloomington in the Minnesotan part of the city.
As in Minnesota, rental prices vary considerably across the state, with prices significantly higher in the more densely populated metropolitan areas than outlying rural counties.
Comparing Canadian Rents and US Rents
While these rental figures provide some level of comparison for the US side of the border since the exchange rate will be the same throughout, a like-for-like comparison is needed to make an informed decision.
Using the July 2022 exchange rate of 1.28 Canadian Dollars for 1 US Dollar and comparing the metropolitan areas of St. Paul Bloomington in Minnesota and neighbouring Wisconsin, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,349 Canadian.
This compares extremely favourably with the average in Ontario for a 1-bedroom apartment of $2,011.
In addition to the higher median salaries generally paid in the US compared to Canada, renting an apartment in the northern states of the USA will provide you with better value for money than searching across the border.
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