Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 23, 2010 12:00 ET

CMHC: Seniors' Housing in British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 23, 2010) - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released its annual 2010 Seniors' Housing Report – British Columbia1 today. According to the report, an increase in the number of independent living units raised the vacancy rate for seniors' housing residences in B.C. to 10.4 per cent this year from 7.5 per cent a year ago.

"The vacancy rate rose as a result of an increase in supply rather than a fall in demand," said Rowena Low, CMHC's Market Analyst. "The total number of residents, especially those aged 75 and above, living in seniors' housing rose during the past year," she added.

Average rent for independent living suites varied by region. Rents were highest in the Greater Vancouver-Fraser Valley region with an average of $2,764 per month followed by the Vancouver Island region at an average of $2,737 per month. The higher cost of land and the differences in the costs of services and amenities contribute to regional variation in rent levels. These regions also had more new assisted living units than other areas of the province and newer units tend to command higher rents.

"Okanagan's independent living units were more evenly distributed across rent ranges whereas in the Lower Mainland, more than half of these were renting for $2,700 or more per month," noted Low. The lowest vacancy rates in the Lower Mainland were for units at $2,700 or more while demand was highest for units at $1,800 to $2,399 a month in the Okanagan.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. 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 vital decisions.

For more information, or to download CMHC's Seniors' Housing Report – British Columbia, please visit www.cmhc.ca/housingmarketinformation or call 1-800-668-2642.

1 CMHC's Seniors Housing Report includes information on private or non-profit residences where the majority of residences are 65 years of age or older and have access to additional services, such as meal service and housekeeping, not offered in traditional rental structures. The survey excludes seniors' residences where the residents receive more than 1.5 hours of care per day. Only residences with at least 10 units were included in the survey.

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