Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 22, 2009 23:59 ET

Launch of National Seniors' Housing Survey

OTTAWA, June 22 - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(CMHC) launched its new National Seniors' Housing Survey today. The survey,
conducted in all provinces, collected information on vacancy rates and rents
in seniors' residences with services not offered in traditional rental

"Vacancy rates and rent levels in the seniors' housing market reflect a
different market makeup than the traditional rental market," said Bob Dugan,
Chief Economist for CMHC. "The demand for seniors' housing is expected to
increase as the baby boom generation ages. The anticipation of this eventual
increase in demand, has spurred the construction of seniors' units ahead of
actual demand. This, in turn, has led to an average vacancy rate of 9.2
percent in seniors' residences that tends to be higher than in the traditional
rental market."

The national vacancy rate applies to standard spaces, which are defined

- private units such as a bachelor, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment
occupied by a single individual or a couple; one unit is considered as
one standard space;
- semi-private units; one unit is considered as two standard spaces;
- ward units; one unit is considered as three standard spaces or more;

The vacancy rate is calculated for all standard spaces regardless of
whether the occupant participates in a meal plan or requires medical services.
The vacancy rate covers only spaces that accommodate residents who receive
less than 1.5 hours of care per day.

Vacancy rates varied considerably across the country, from a low of 3.4
per cent in Saskatchewan to a high of 18.9 per cent in Newfoundland and
Labrador. The vacancy rate in Ontario (13.3 per cent) was above the national
figure, while the rates in British Columbia (7.5 per cent) and Quebec (7.9 per
cent) were below average.

Average monthly rents in the seniors' market are higher than traditional
market rents, reflecting the additional services and amenities that residents
of these structures receive. The average rent for bachelor/private units where
meals are included was $1,774 per month. Average rents ranged from a high of
$2,519 per month in Ontario to a low of $1,271 in Quebec. Differences in
average rents reflect, in part, the varying prevalence of services and
amenities in each province.

As Canada's national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC) draws on more than 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.


- CMHC conducted its first National Seniors' Housing Survey in February
and March 2009. Previously, CMHC had regional seniors' reports in B.C.,
Ontario and Quebec, which were published annually.
- The new national survey was conducted in all 10 provinces and in all
centres regardless of size, which had a residence meeting the
eligibility criteria.
- The survey targeted private and non-profit residences where the
majority of residents were 65 years of age or older and had access to
additional services not offered in traditional rental structures. To be
eligible for the survey, a residence must provide an on-site meal plan
or on-site medical services. Virtually all residences surveyed provided
an on-site meal plan. Other amenities and services that were popular in
some of the residences included on-site medical services (57.8 per
cent), transportation services (44.2 per cent) and 24 hour call-bell
service (92.0 per cent). Note that the survey excluded nursing homes
and long-term care facilities.
- Across Canada, some 43 per cent of standard spaces in the seniors'
housing market rented for less than $1,500 and 22.0 per cent of spaces
rented for $2,500 or more per month.
- Some 176,845 seniors lived in the 2,464 residences surveyed, capturing
8.2 per cent of the Canadian population at, or above, the age of 75.

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