The rental vacancy rate across Canada continued to inch up this year, according to the latest Rental Market Survey released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
However, regional differences were vast, according to Anthony Passarelli, CMHC’s Senior Market Analyst. “Since last year, the supply of apartment units in the primary rental market increased more than the number of occupied units, causing the vacancy rate to increase slightly. That said, regional trends across the country were considerably different, roughly offsetting one another at the national level.”
The survey placed the national average vacancy rate at 3.4 per cent. In a significant turn, Calgary, which recently boasted a vacancy rate below 1 per cent, this year made the list of the country’s highest.
Areas with the highest vacancy rates include Saskatoon (10.3%), St-John’s (7.9%), Edmonton (7.1%), Calgary (7.0%) and Saguenay (7.0%).
The lowest rental vacancy rates are centered around Victoria and Abbotsford-Mission (0.5%), Kelowna (0.6%) and Vancouver (0.7%). Condo rentals were in line with these figures, with the highest vacancy rate of 6.8 per cent recorded in Edmonton, and the lowest — a meager 0.3 per cent — in Vancouver.
Rents rose on average 2 per cent over last year. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $995 per month. The average rental rate for a two-bedroom condominium apartment ranges from a high of $2,029/month in Toronto to a low of $1,033 in Québec City, according to the survey.
For the first time, CMHC asked property managers it surveyed to answer more specific questions regarding unit turnover rates in apartments. That data indicates higher-than-average turnover rates in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and most centers in the Atlantic Canada, while British Columbia, Québec and Ontario saw below-average turnover.
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