Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 10, 2009 23:59 ET

National rental vacancy rate edges higher

OTTAWA, June 10 - The average rental apartment vacancy rate
in Canada's 35 major centres(1) increased slightly to 2.7 per cent in April
2009, from 2.6 per cent in April 2008, according to the spring Rental Market
Survey(2) released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Completions of condominiums, which continue to attract renter households
looking to move into homeownership are decreasing demand for rental housing.
Also, some of the completed condos compete with rental units if they were
purchased by investors who then rent them out. These two factors have put
upward pressure on the vacancy rate," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at
CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "However, this has been balanced by higher
levels of demand for rental housing."

The results of CMHC's spring survey reveal that the major centres with
the lowest vacancy rates in April 2009 were Québec City (0.6 per cent), Regina
(0.7 per cent), Winnipeg (0.9 per cent), Saguenay (1.1 per cent), and
Trois-Rivières (1.1 per cent). With respect to British Columbia, only two
centres had vacancy rates below two per cent; Victoria at 1.2 per cent and
Vancouver at 1.9 per cent.

At the other end of the spectrum, the major centres with the highest
vacancy rates were Windsor (15.5 per cent), St. Catharines-Niagara (5.3 per
cent), and Abbotsford (4.8 per cent).

The highest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in new and
existing structures were in Vancouver ($1,154), Calgary ($1,106), Toronto
($1,093), Edmonton ($1,059), and Victoria ($1,043). Of all the major centres,
these five were the only ones with average rents at or above $1,000. The
lowest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in new and existing
structures were in Saguenay ($494), and Trois-Rivières ($512).

Year-over-year comparison of rents can be slightly misleading because
rents in newly built structures tend to be higher than in existing buildings.
However, excluding new structures provides a better indication of actual rent
increases paid by tenants. Overall, the average rent for two-bedroom
apartments in existing structures across Canada's 35 major centres increased
2.9 per cent between April 2008 and April 2009. Rent increases were larger in
Saskatoon (15.5 per cent) and in Regina (11.4 per cent).

CMHC's spring Rental Market Survey also found that the average rental
apartment availability rate in Canada's 35 major centres was 5.0 per cent in
April 2009, up slightly from 4.9 per cent in April 2008. A rental unit is
considered available if the unit is vacant (physically unoccupied and ready
for immediate rental), or if the existing tenant has given or received notice
to move and a new tenant has not signed a lease. Availability rates were
highest in Windsor (18.0 per cent), London (7.9 per cent), St.
Catharines-Niagara (7.9 per cent), Guelph (7.0 per cent), and Sherbrooke (7.0
per cent). The lowest availability rates were in Winnipeg (1.4 per cent),
Regina (1.8 per cent), and Victoria (2.5 per cent).

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 - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.

(1) Major centres are based on Statistics Canada Census Metropolitan
Areas (CMAs) with the exception of the Ottawa-Gatineau CMA, which is
treated as two centres for Rental Market Survey purposes and
Charlottetown, which is a Census Agglomeration (CA).

(2) CMHC's Rental Market Survey is conducted twice a year in April and
October, to provide vacancy, availability and rent information on
privately initiated structures in all centres with populations of 10,000
and more 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:

a. Smaller geographic zones within centres

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

To access CMHC's 2009 reports on the rental market select from the links

- Rental Market Report - Canada Highlights - containing at a glance
rental market information for Canada's 35 major centres
- Rental Market Report - Provincial Highlights - providing a summary of
rental market statistics for urban centres with populations of 10,000
and more in each province and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
- Rental Market Statistics Report - a sourcebook of statistical tables
with national, provincial and local rental housing market data

Note: A table of vacancy rates, availability rates and rents is attached.

(Aussi disponible en français)

Rental Market Indicators
Privately Initiated Apartment Structures of Three Units and Over
Provinces and Major Centres(1)
Change of
Average Rent
Average Rent Two Bedroom(2)
Centres 2 Bedroom ($) From Fixed
(New and Sample (Exis-
Vacancy Availability existing ting struc-
Rates (%) Rates (%) structures) tures only)
Apr-07 Apr-08
Apr-08 Apr-09 Apr-08 Apr-09 Apr-08 Apr-09 to to
Apr-08 Apr-09
Newfound- 3.2a 2.0a 4.1a 2.7a 581a 616a 2.8a 4.7a
land &
St. John's
CMA 3.7a 2.2a 4.8a 3.2a 614a 652a 2.5a 5.2a
10,000+ 4.9a 3.4b 6.5a 5.6a 653a 681a 2.1c 4.2a
tetown CA 5.2a 3.5b 7.1a 6.1a 665a 695a (xx) 4.3a
Nova Scotia
10,000+ 3.4a 3.8a 4.1a 4.9a 789a 808a 2.1b 2.9b
CMA 3.2a 3.8a 4.0a 5.1a 827a 843a 2.1b 2.8b
10,000+ 5.3a 4.7a 5.9a 5.4a 635a 653a 2.0b 2.8a
CMA 5.5a 4.1b 6.4a 5.3a 665a 673a 2.0b 2.1a
Saint John
CMA 4.3b 4.0b 4.9b 4.5b 604a 643a 3.2c 4.5c
10,000+ 2.5a 2.3a 5.6a 5.3a 615a 629a 3.6d 3.0b
CMA (Que.
Part) 4.1b 2.0a 4.5b 2.8a 674a 690a 2.3b ++
CMA 2.8a 2.7a 5.8a 5.6a 643a 656a (xx) 3.5d
Québec CMA 1.1a 0.6a 5.1b 3.1b 641a 664a 2.5c 2.1c
CMA 1.8b 1.1a 5.6b 6.7b 497a 494a (xx) (xx)
CMA 2.1b 2.5a 5.4b 7.0b 540a 548a 4.9c (xx)
CMA 1.3a 1.1a 4.0b 6.6b 501a 512a 1.2d 3.3c
10,000+ 3.1a 3.3a 5.4a 5.4a 931a 949a 1.6a 2.1a
Barrie CMA 2.9b 4.2b 5.9b 6.4a 941a 958a 4.2d ++
CMA 2.3a 2.9b 2.7a 3.5b 737a 757a 1.3d 4.2d
CMA 0.7a 2.0a 1.7a 3.8b 781a 802a 7.2c 6.2b
Guelph CMA 2.5a 3.7a 5.0a 7.0a 856a 878a 1.6a 1.8a
CMA 4.7a 3.6a 8.1a 6.1a 815a 860a 1.2a 1.5a
CMA 2.6a 2.4a 4.0b 4.7b 863a 894a 3.8b 2.7a
CMA 2.0a 2.9a 4.5a 5.5a 838a 853a 0.9a 1.7a
London CMA 3.0a 4.2a 6.1a 7.9a 814a 849a 2.2a 1.5a
St. Catha-
CMA 3.7b 5.3b 5.4a 7.9a 774a 785a 2.8b 1.7c
Oshawa CMA 4.2b 3.7b 6.0b 5.7a 881a 876a 1.1d 1.1d
CMA (Ont.
Part) 2.2a 2.7a 5.1a 4.8a 957a 995a 1.5a 4.3b
rough CMA 3.1b 3.8b 5.8a 6.9b 819a 850a 1.2d 3.6c
Thunder Bay
CMA 3.6b 2.8a 5.4b 3.8b 714a 730a 1.6b 2.4c
CMA 2.8a 2.4a 4.9a 4.4a 1,075a 1,093a 1.2a 1.6c
CMA 13.2a 15.5a 15.6a 18.0a 770a 748a ++ ++
10,000+ 3.2a 2.0a 4.1a 2.7a 581a 616a 2.8a 4.7a
CMA 1.0a 0.9a 1.5a 1.4a 746a 774a 3.1b 3.4b
10,000+ 1.2a 1.7a 2.4a 3.2a 712a 796a 14.3a 12.5a
Regina CMA 1.4a 0.7a 2.5a 1.8a 718a 786a 10.4a 11.4a
CMA 0.9a 1.9a 2.6a 4.5a 759a 868a 21.3a 15.5a
10,000+ 2.9a 4.6a 4.3a 6.2a 1,049a 1,069a 10.6a 2.9b
CMA 2.0a 4.3b 4.0b 6.2a 1,096a 1,106a 6.0c (xx)
CMA 3.4b 4.7b 4.4b 5.9b 1,000a 1,059a 13.7a 4.0b
10,000+ 1.1a 2.3a 1.8a 3.3a 921a 1,003a 5.5b 3.4c
CMA 2.4a 4.8a 3.7a 5.8a 775a 778a 9.1a 1.2a
CMA 0.3a 2.9a 1.3a 4.3a 881a 935a 8.9a 3.0c
CMA 0.9a 1.9a 1.3a 2.6a 1,071a 1,154a 5.1c 2.7c
CMA 0.3a 1.2a 1.6a 2.5a 900a 1,043a 4.4d 6.5c
CMAs(1) 2.6a 2.7a 4.9a 5.0a 805a 827a 3.6b 2.9a
10,000+ 2.6a 2.8a 4.9a 5.0a 782a 804a 3.7b 2.9a
(1) Major centres refer to Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA), except for
(2) The Percentage Change of Average Rent is a measure of the market
movement, and is based on those structures that were common to the
survey sample for both years.
++ Change in rent is not statistically significant. This means that the
change in rent is not statistically different than zero (0).
(xx) Data suppressed to protect confidentiality or data is not
statistically reliable.

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