Vacancy rates, rents on the rise

The average vacancy rate in Canada’s largest cities is on the rise, according to new data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Its fall Rental Market Survey, published today, found that the average vacancy rate in purpose-built rental apartments increased to 3.3 per cent in October 2015, up from 2.8 per cent in October 2014.

“The rise in the national vacancy rate was due to lower net migration in regions most affected by low oil prices as well as an increase in the supply of purpose-built rental apartment units,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC.

But while vacancy rates are up, CMHC’s data showed that the average rent for two-bedroom apartments in existing structures increased 2.4 per cent year-over-year.

The survey also covers condominium apartments offered for rent in 16 urban centres. It found that vacancy rates ranged from a high of 5.3 per cent in Edmonton to a low of 0.4% in Hamilton.

Average monthly rents for two-bedroom condo apartments were highest in Toronto ($1,754) and lowest in Quebec City ($1,065).

The final 2015 Rental Market Survey report and data will be released on December 16, 2015.

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