Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 10, 2009 23:59 ET

Vacancy Rate Declines in New Brunswick's Larger Urban Centres

MONCTON, June 10 - In April(1), the overall vacancy rate for
apartment units in New Brunswick's urban centres declined to 4.7 per cent from
5.3 per cent in the spring of 2008 according to figures released today by
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Demand for rental units, particularly in the province's large urban
centres, remained strong this spring, leading to the lower vacancy rate in
some markets," said Claude Gautreau, CMHC's senior market analyst for New
Brunswick. In New Brunswick's three large urban centres, the largest vacancy
rate decline occurred in Moncton, where the vacancy rate decreased 1.4
percentage points to 4.1 per cent. In Fredericton and Saint John, the vacancy
rate was down by 0.5 and 0.3 percentage points to 5.3 and 4.0 per cent,
respectively. "In-migration in New Brunswick's large urban centres continues
to bolster demand for rental units," continued Gautreau.

In New Brunswick's smaller urban areas, the vacancy rates were higher
than the provincial average of 4.7 per cent. Campbellton and Bathurst posted
comparable vacancy rates at 7.2 and 7.3 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, the
highest vacancy rate in the province was 9.2 per cent in Edmundston, while
Miramichi recorded the lowest in the province at 2.0 per cent.

In Fredericton and Moncton, the average two-bedroom rent in new and
existing structures was $712 and $673, respectively in April 2009, compared to
$696 and $665 last year. The average two-bedroom rent in Saint John, although
lower than the provincial average of $653, moved closer to the average,
reaching $643 per month. The average two-bedroom rent in the province's
smaller urban centres varied between $463 and $524.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on over 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) CMHC's Rental Market Survey is now conducted twice a year in April
and October, to provide vacancy, availability and rent information on
privately initiated structures in all centres over 10,000 population
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:

1. Smaller geographic zones within centres
2. Secondary rental market (rented condominium apartments, single
detached, semi-detached, duplexes or accessory apartments).

In our analysis, we have avoided making comparisons between the results
of the April 2009 rental market survey and the October 2008 survey. A key
reason for this is that changes in rents, vacancy rates, and availability
rates between the spring and the fall may not be solely attributable to
changes in rental market conditions; they could also reflect seasonal factors.
For example, if more people tend to move in the spring than in the fall, it
could have an impact on vacancy and availability rates as well as the level of
rents. Alternatively, in centres where there are a significant number of
university students, vacancy and availability rates could be higher in the
spring if students move home for the summer.

To the extent that these types of seasonal variations exist, comparing
results from the spring and fall Rental Market Surveys could lead to incorrect
conclusions about trends in rental market conditions.

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


Vacancy(*) Availability(XX) Average Rents ($)
Rate Rate Two Bedroom Units
Apr-08 Apr-09 Apr-08 Apr-09 Apr-08 Apr-09
Moncton CMA 5.5 4.1 6.4 5.3 665 673
Saint John CMA 4.3 4.0 4.9 4.5 604 643
Bathurst CA 6.3 7.3 6.5 7.7 504 522
Campbellton CA 6.3 7.2 6.7 8.0 505 517
Edmundston CA 8.2 9.2 9.9 10.0 453 463
Fredericton CA 5.8 5.3 5.9 5.7 696 712
Miramichi CA 2.9 2.0 3.1 2.2 512 524
New Brunswick
10,000+ 5.3 4.7 5.9 5.4 635 653

(*) Vacancy: A unit is considered vacant if, at the time of the survey,
it is physically unoccupied and ready for immediate rental. In other
words, a new tenant can sign a lease for a vacant unit and move in
(xx) Availability: A rental unit is considered available if it is vacant
or the existing tenant has given or has received notice to move, and
a new tenant has not signed a lease. In other words, an available
unit is one for which a lease can be signed by a new tenant, whether
the unit is occupied or not. Because the availability rate includes
vacant units, the availability rate for a given area will never be
lower than the vacancy rate for that particular area.

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