Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 23, 2010 10:15 ET

Vacancies Rise in Alberta Seniors' Housing Residences in 2010

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - June 23, 2010) - According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's 2010 Seniors' Housing Report, Alberta edition released today, the average vacancy rate for a standard retirement home unit in Alberta increased to 12.2 per cent this year from 5.9 per cent in 2009. In the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), the vacancy rate increased from 5.3 per cent in 2009 to 10 per cent this year. Vacancies in the Edmonton CMA moved up to 11 per cent in 2010 from 5.4 per cent a year prior. In areas surveyed outside of the two major centres, vacancies more than doubled to 17.8 per cent in 2010 from 7.9 per cent last year.

The total average rent per month for a standard unit increased in Alberta from $2,334 in 2009 to $2,477 in 2010. Standard units typically garner a higher rent compared to the traditional rental market as residents receive meals and healthcare services, as well as access to other amenities. The total average rent in Calgary and Edmonton for a standard unit was $2,863 and $2,288 per month, respectively, while the total average rent for the rest of Alberta was $2,155 per month.

CMHC's survey found a total universe of 9,229 retirement spaces in Alberta, of which 7,187 units or 78 per cent were standard spaces. This compares with a universe of 8,713 units in the 2009 survey, of which 7,073 (81 per cent) were identified as standard spaces. The overall universe increased by 516 units, or 5.9 per cent, since the 2009 survey. The number of standard spaces increased by 114 units or 1.6 per cent, while the non-standard spaces increased by 402 units or 24.5 per cent. The Edmonton CMA reported 2,782 standard spaces, down slightly from 2,803 in 2009.The survey included 2,748 standard spaces in the Calgary CMA, up from 2,677 spaces a year prior.

CMHC's Seniors' survey included residences that provided at least an on-site meal plan or on- site medical services. Many of these facilities also offered a variety of other amenities not typically found in traditional rental structures such as housekeeping and laundry, an on-site registered nurse and medical services. The most common amenity in Alberta was 24-hour call bell service, found in 95.5 per cent of structures surveyed, followed by an exercise facility at 80.7 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. 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, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.

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