Regional variations reflect the impact of lower oil prices in Alberta (vacancy rate up to 3.4 per cent from 1.8 per cent a year earlier) and Saskatchewan (5.6 per cent from 3.3 per cent), while stronger economic conditions in B.C. and Ontario mean fewer properties are available. In Vancouver
, the vacancy rate is 1.7 per cent.
CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan noted: “In Ontario, improving employment conditions for young adults aged 15 to 24, a key source of rental demand, and a stable supply of rental units placed downward pressure on vacancy rates, while increased immigration to British Columbia, another key source of rental demand, more-than-offset an increase in the province’s rental market supply.”
The demand means that rents have increased in those areas in particular.
Across Canada the average rent for a two-bedroom unit is $949, but in Vancouver
it’s $1,345, followed by Calgary
at $1,319 and Toronto
at $1,269. The lowest average rent was in Trois-Rivières at $571 per month.
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The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s latest assessment of the rental apartment market shows that national vacancy rates are stable; 2.9 per cent across the 35 major centres, compared to 2.7 per cent a year earlier.