Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 15, 2010 12:00 ET

CMHC: Spring Rental Vacancy Rates Edge Higher in British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 15, 2010) - Vacancy rates increased in most British Columbia centres compared to last spring, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) spring Rental Market Survey.

"There is some relief for renters looking for apartments," noted Carol Frketich, CMHC's BC Regional Economist. The apartment vacancy rate increased to 3.1 per cent in April 2010 compared to 2.3 per cent one year ago. Larger apartments are becoming easier to find, with the vacancy rate for units with two bedrooms at 4.0 per cent, compared to 2.7 per cent last spring. The vacancy rate for apartments with three or more bedrooms rose to 3.8 per cent from 3.0 per cent one year ago.

"An increase in rental supply from new rental construction and also from investor owned condominium units, as well as secondary suites in people's homes that are rented out, was the principal factor behind higher vacancy rates," added Frketich. "Historically low mortgage interest rates attracted renter households towards homeownership, putting upward pressure on vacancy rates during the past year."

The average rent level for a two bedroom apartment in B.C. was $983 in April 2010, slightly lower than the April 2009 level. Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna reported lower average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in April 2010. In terms of a fixed sample of units common in both the April 2009 and April 2010 surveys, the annual increase in the average two-bedroom apartment rent in B.C. was 2.9 per cent, slower than the 3.4 per cent increase reported in April 2009.

CMHC's Rental Market Report, British Columbia Highlights, is available for free at\housingmarketinformation.

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.

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Contact Information

  • For information on BC's Rental Market:
    Carol Frketich
    BC Regional Economist
    Cell (604) 787-5598
    For information on Local Rental Markets:
    Robyn Adamache
    Vancouver Market Analyst
    (604) 737-4144 / cell (604) 787-9659
    Paul Fabri
    Kelowna Market Analyst
    (250) 712-4334
    Travis Archibald
    Victoria Market Analyst
    (604) 737-4062 / cell (604) 999-7420
    David Europe-Finner
    Prince George and Northern BC Market Analyst
    (604) 737-4089