Canada’s Rental Vacancy Rate Increases

by Chris on December 18, 2012

The fall Rental Market Survey just released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) shows the average rental apartment vacancy rate in Canada’s 35 major centres increased to 2.6 per cent in October 2012, from 2.2 per cent in October 2011.

“Lower levels of household formation among young adults reduced rental housing demand,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre.  “This, combined with an increase in the supply of newly constructed, purpose-built rental apartments, pushed Canada’s vacancy rate upward.  Meanwhile, demand for rental condominium apartments remained strong, with the vacancy rate holding steady in most of Canada’s largest urban centres, including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.”

The results of CMHC’s fall survey reveal that, in October 2012, the major centres with the lowest vacancy rates in the primary apartment rental market were in Regina (1.0 per cent), Thunder Bay (1.1 per cent) and Calgary (1.3 per cent).  The centres with the highest vacancy rates were in Saint John (9.7 per cent), Windsor (7.3 per cent) and Moncton (6.7 per cent).

Overall, the average rent for two-bedroom apartments in existing structures across Canada’s 35 major centres increased 2.2 per cent between October 2011 and October 2012, the same pace of rent increase that was recorded between October 2010 and October 2011. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in new and existing structures was $901 in October 2012.  The highest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in new and existing structures in Canada’s major centres were in Vancouver ($1,261), Toronto ($1,183) and Calgary ($1,150).  The lowest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in new and existing structures were in Saguenay ($549), Trois-Rivières ($550) and Sherbrooke ($578).

CMHC’s October 2012 Rental Market Survey also covers condominium apartments offered for rent in 11 large urban centres, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.  Rental condominium vacancy rates ranged from a high of 3.2 per cent in Ottawa to a low of 0.9 per cent in Saskatoon, holding steady in most centres from October 2011.  Average monthly rents for two-bedroom condominium apartments were highest in Vancouver ($1,662) and lowest in Québec ($1,022).

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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