The overall vacancy rate for rental apartments in Canada dropped to 2.4% in 2018, according to the Rental Market Report just released by CMHC.
The major factors contributing to the tightening rental market include immigration, younger workers, and older renters, according to CMHC. Supply of newly-built inventory was outpaced by demand.
The national vacancy rate for 2018 is below the average for the past 10 years.
Quebec had a significant impact on the national average vacancy rate. There, vacancies fell from 3.4% in 2017 to 2.3% in 2018, despite a large supply of rental housing in the province.
Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Atlantic region also saw lower vacancy rates, as the oil-producing provinces continue to recover from the 2014 oil crisis, and migration to those areas remains strong.
The Alberta rental market vacancy rate fell to 5.5% in 2018, down from 7.5% in 2017. In Saskatchewan, the vacancy rate moved to 8.7% in 2018 from 9.3% in 2017.
In the Atlantic region, the markets continue to enjoy stability, with a modest drop in the vacancy rates. For instance, in Newfoundland and Labrador, the vacancy rate fell from 6.6% to 6.0%, precipitated by moderate employment growth.
Some provinces experienced a slight uptick in vacancies. Ontario’s low vacancy rate rose incrementally to 1.8%, up from 1.6% in 2017. Similarly, British Columbia rates edged up to 1.4% versus 1.3% in 2017. Still, the vacancy rates in these provinces are among the lowest in the country. Manitoba also experienced a slight increase in its vacancy rate to 2.9% in 2018 from 2.7% in 2017. However, these increases were not enough to offset the downward national trend.
Published annually, the Rental Market Report analyses the findings of CMHC’s fall Rental Market Survey and puts a spotlight on Canadian rental housing market trends. To see the report or for more information, see CMHC Rental Market Report.
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