National rental vacancy rate below 10-year average says CMHC

by Steve Randall29 Nov 2018

Demand for rental apartments has pushed the national vacancy rate below the ten-year average according to CMHC.

The agency’s latest Rental Market Survey shows the vacancy rate of 2.4% in 2018 is down from 3.0% in 2017 and now below the 3% average of the past 10 years.

The figures are for the primary rental market, consisting of units in privately initiated, purpose-built rental structures of three units or more.

Nationally, the average rent for two-bedroom apartments increased by 3.5% during the surveyed period from October 2017 to October 2018, which is higher than the inflation observed in Canada during the same period.

The vacancy rate increased slightly in Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba and decreased in Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Atlantic provinces.

The tight markets meant average rents increased by an inflation-beating 3.5% nationally for two-bedroom apartments increased by 3.5% during the surveyed period from October 2017 to October 2018.

The average monthly rent for two-bedroom apartments was $1,025 in October 2018 and the highest average monthly rents were recorded in Vancouver ($1,649), Toronto ($1,467) and Calgary ($1,272). The lowest were in Trois-Rivières ($601), Saguenay ($608) and Sherbrooke ($639).

Secondary market
The survey also covers the secondary rental market, condominium apartments offered for rent, where the average rental condominium vacancy rate across all surveyed centres decreased from 1.6% in October 2017 to 1.4% in October 2018.

The lowest condominium vacancy rates were observed in Vancouver (0.3%), Victoria (0.4%), Kelowna (0.6%), Toronto (0.7%) and Hamilton (0.9%), while the highest vacancy rate was in Regina at 9.6%.


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