Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 10, 2009 23:59 ET

Apartment Vacancies Rise in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX, June 10 - According to the results of Canada Mortgage
Housing Corporation's (CMHC's) Spring Rental Market Survey(1), the vacancy
rate in private rental apartments in Nova Scotia's urban centres was 3.8 per
cent in April 2009 compared to 3.4 per cent a year earlier.

"The vacancy rate reported for the province is strongly influenced by the
Halifax rental market, which accounts for 85 per cent of all rental units in
Nova Scotia," said Charlie Aucoin, market analyst with CMHC's Atlantic
Business Centre. The vacancy rate for Halifax was the same as the provincial
average at 3.8 per cent while the vacancy rates in the province's other urban
centres ranged from a low of 2.4 per cent in Cape Breton to a high of 5.0 per
cent in Truro.

Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Nova Scotia was $808 per
month. "The average rent for a two bedroom apartment in Halifax was $843 which
was an increase of 2.8 per cent for those structures common to both the 2008
and 2009 spring rental market survey," said Aucoin.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on over 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.

(1) CMHC's Rental Market Survey is now conducted twice a year in April
and October, to provide vacancy, availability and rent information on
privately initiated structures in all centres over 10,000 population
across Canada. Reports are released in June and December.

The spring survey covers apartment and row structures containing at
least three rental units, and unlike the fall survey does not report
information on:

1. Smaller geographic zones within centres

2. Secondary rental market (rented condominium apartments, single
detached, semi-detached, duplexes or accessory apartments).

In our analysis, we have avoided making comparisons between the
results of the April 2009 rental market survey and the October 2008
survey. A key reason for this is that changes in rents, vacancy
rates, and availability rates between the spring and the fall may not
be solely attributable to changes in rental market conditions; they
could also reflect seasonal factors. For example, if more people tend
to move in the spring than in the fall, it could have an impact on
vacancy and availability rates as well as the level of rents.

Alternatively, in centres where there are a significant number of
university students, vacancy and availability rates could be higher
in the spring if students move home for the summer.

To the extent that these types of seasonal variations exist,
comparing results from the spring and fall Rental Market Surveys
could lead to incorrect conclusions about trends in rental market

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NOTE : A table of vacancy rates, availability rates and rents is

Vacancy Availability Average Rent
Rate(2) (%) Rate(3) (%) Two-Bedroom ($)

April April April April April April
2008 2009 2008 2009 2008 2009
Nova Scotia 3.4 3.8 4.1 4.9 789 808
Halifax CMA 3.2 3.8 4.0 5.1 827 843
Cape Breton CA 4.6 2.4 4.7 2.6 609 629
Kentville CA 3.2 3.4 4.6 3.8 578 619
New Glasgow CA 3.5 3.2 4.2 3.9 567 582
Truro CA 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.2 679 724

(2) Vacancy: A unit is considered vacant if, at the time of the survey,
it is physically unoccupied and ready for immediate rental. In other
words, a new tenant can sign a lease for a vacant unit and move in
(3) Availability: A rental unit is considered available if it is vacant
or the existing tenant has given or has received notice to move, and
a new tenant has not signed a lease. In other words, an available
unit is one for which a lease can be signed by a new tenant, whether
the unit is occupied or not. Because the availability rate includes
vacant units, the availability rate for a given area will never be
lower than the vacancy rate for that particular area.

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