Rental vacancies “stable” but not everywhere says CMHC

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.

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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