Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 10, 2009 23:59 ET

Vacancy Rates Lower Throughout Newfoundland

ST. JOHN'S, June 10 - The results of the April rental market
survey(1) released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC),
indicated that vacancy rates for private apartment structures containing three
or more units were lower throughout the province in all centres surveyed. The
combined total vacancy rate was 2.0 per cent, with 106 of the 5,285 units
surveyed sitting vacant. This represents a reduction of 1.2 percentage points
from last April's rate of 3.2 per cent.

The St. John's area rental market posted a vacancy rate of 2.2 per cent
compared to 3.7 per cent last April, with 80 units vacant out of the 3,668
units surveyed. "With the local labour market remaining healthy, positive
net-migration will continue to create rental demand and keep vacancy rates low
within the region," said Chris Janes, senior market analyst with CMHC in
Newfoundland and Labrador. "Historically, high house prices coupled with low
levels of new rental supply being added to the market are contributing to the
low vacancy rates. With house prices continuing to advance, demand for rental
is expected to remain strong," added Janes.

The tightest rental market in the province was the Corner Brook area with
a 0.4 per cent vacancy rate recorded during the April survey. Other centres
surveyed recorded the following vacancy rates: the Gander area decreased to
2.3 per cent from 2.5 per cent last year, the Grand Falls-Windsor area came in
at 1.3 per cent compared to 3.6 per cent a year ago, and the Bay Roberts area
recorded a vacancy rate of 7.7 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 - 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

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Vacancy Rate and Average Rent
by Major Centre
Newfoundland and Labrador
Centre Vacancy Rate 2 Bdrm Rent
Apr-08 Apr-09 Apr-08 Apr-09
St. John's CMA 3.7 2.2 614 652
Bay Roberts CA (xx) 7.7 464 484
Corner Brook CA 0.6 0.4 516 522
Gander T 2.5 2.3 504 524
Grand Falls-Windsor CA 3.6 1.3 565 623
Newfoundland & Labrador 10,000+ 3.2 2.0 581 616

Contact Information

  • Chris Janes, Senior Market Analyst - NL, CMHC
    Market Analysis Centre, (709) 772-2403 or (709) 743-4636,;
    visit or call 1-800-668-2642