Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

December 12, 2013 08:14 ET

Canada's Rental Vacancy Rate Increases

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 12, 2013) - The average vacancy rate in the primary purpose-built rental apartment market in Canada's 35 major centres(1) increased slightly to 2.7 per cent in October 2013, from 2.6 per cent in October 2012, according to the fall Rental Market Survey(2)released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"An increase in the supply of purpose-built rental apartments was partially offset by increasing rental housing demand across the country. Demand for rental housing was supported by both higher levels of full-time employment in the 15 to 24 age group, and a rise in net migration. Meanwhile, demand for rental condominium apartments remained strong," said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre.

The results of CMHC's fall survey reveal that, in October 2013, the major centres with the lowest vacancy rates in the primary apartment rental market were in Calgary (1.0 per cent), Edmonton (1.4 per cent) and Toronto (1.6 per cent). The centres with the highest vacancy rates were in Saint John (11.4 per cent), Moncton (9.1 per cent) and Charlottetown (7.9 per cent).

Overall, the average rent for two-bedroom apartments in existing structures across Canada's 35 major centres increased 2.5 per cent between October 2012 and October 2013. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in new and existing structures was $920 in October 2013(3). The highest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in new and existing structures in Canada's major centres were in Vancouver ($1,281), Calgary ($1,224) and Toronto ($1,213). The lowest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in new and existing structures were in Trois-Rivières ($555), Saguenay ($571) and Sherbrooke ($591).

CMHC's October 2013 Rental Market Survey also covers condominium apartments offered for rent in 11 large urban centres, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. In this particular segment of the secondary rental market, rental condominium vacancy rates ranged from a high of 5.9 per cent in Québec City to a low of 0.7 per cent in Saskatoon, holding steady in most centres from October 2012. Average monthly rents for two-bedroom condominium apartments were highest in Toronto ($1,752) and lowest in Québec City ($980).

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. 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 informed decisions.

For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642. CMHC Market Analysis standard reports are also available free for download at CMHC Housing Market Information.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca

The full text of this press release is available on the internet at http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

To access CMHC's 2012 reports on the rental market select from the links below:

- 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

(Aussi disponible en français)

To view the table of vacancy rates, availability rates and rents, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/917155A_Tables.pdf

(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 fall survey covers apartment and row structures containing at least three rental units and, unlike the spring survey, reports information on: a) Smaller geographic zones within centres; b) The secondary rental market (rented condominium apartments, single detached, semi-detached, duplexes or accessory apartments).
(3) Year-over-year comparisons of average rents can be slightly misleading because rents in newly built structures tend to be higher than in existing buildings. Excluding new structures and focusing on structures existing in both the October 2012 and October 2013 surveys provides a better indication of actual rent increases paid by tenants.

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