Rental Market Report: Which Province Has the Lowest Rents in Canada?

by Chris on February 14, 2011

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has released a study of the rental market.  The best news to come from the report is a decreased vacancy rate in 35 major cities from October 2009 to 2010.  The current reported vacancy rate is 2.6%.

The CMHC attributes the low vacancy rate to an economic recovery that has boosted demand for both rental and ownership housing, as well as high levels of immigration that have supported demand for rental housing.

The study also notes other improving economic conditions which have boosted household formation which, in turn, added to the demand for rental housing.

The major centres with the lowest vacancy rates were  Winnipeg at 0.8 per cent and  Regina, Kingston and Québec at 1.0 per cent each. Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador posted the lowest overall provincial vacancy rates.

The survey reveals that the major centres with the highest vacancy rates were Windsor at 10.9 per cent, Abbotsford at 6.5 per cent, Saint John at 5.1 per cent, and London at 5.0 per cent. On a provincial basis, the highest vacancy rates were in Alberta at 4.6 per cent and New Brunswick, 4.5 per cent.

The Canadian average two-bedroom rent was up from $836 in 2009 to $860 in 2010. The highest average monthly rents were in Vancouver ($1,195), Toronto ($1,123), Calgary ($1,069), Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario part, $1,048), Victoria ($1,024), and Edmonton ($1,015). Of all the major centres, only these six had average rents at or above $1,000.

The lowest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in new and existing structures were in Trois-Rivières ($533), Saguenay ($535), and Sherbrooke ($566), prompting concern from the  Québec Landlords Association about the province’s low 2011 rent increase recommendations, which remain below 1% for most rental properties.

Overall, the average rent for two-bedroom apartments in existing structures across Canada’s 35 major centres increased 2.4 per cent between October 2009 and October 2010, a similar pace of rent increase to what was observed between October 2008 and October 2009 2.3 per cent, according to the report.

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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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