Sunday, 16 December 2012 12:17

Are investors afraid of Canada's hottest market?

Written by  Vernon Clement Jones
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It’s a market with lagging investor interest, which may explain its continuing title as the Canadian city with the lowest vacancy rate – something that’s only now starting to change.

Today’s rate of 1 per cent actually represents a rise from the 0.6 per cent, according to the annual Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) rental market report.

The rise reflects an increase of rental units coming onto market the Saskatchewan capital, which saw some 1,502 multi-unit housing starts this year, or more than twice the number of the same period last year.

 “We have seen a modest increase in rental units that are coming into supply, as well as condominium apartments,’’ said Goodson Mwale, senior market analyst for CMHC in Saskatchewan. “The demand for rental accommodation is still quite high.”

Indeed.

Regina’s vacancy rate is about 1.5 percentage points below the national average of 2.6 per cent and the provincial mean of 2.2 per cent.

Investor have been largely reluctant to enter Saskatchewan as a whole, despite a booming economy and the growing demand from skilled workers moving from other parts of the country to fill demand.

That torpor seems to be lifting as investors show increased willingness to build and cap rates continue to climb, helping compensate for the higher costs of new construction.

Small apartment buildings with larger units may draw a large chunk of that interest.

Vacancy rates in Regina for three-bedroom apartments were as low as 0.4 per cent this year. . That’s actually down from the 0.8 per cent recording in October 2011.

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 11:45

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