Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

December 14, 2006 08:15 ET

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Kelowna Vacancy Rate Stays Below One Per Cent

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 14, 2006) - The Kelowna area apartment vacancy rate edged up to 0.6 per cent in October 2006 from 0.5 per cent last year, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) 2006 Rental Market Survey. Though up slightly from 2005's thirteen year low, the increase represents a very small number of units. The townhouse vacancy rate declined in 2006.

"An expanding economy has led to more employment opportunities, attracting job seekers to the Kelowna area," explained CMHC Market Analyst Paul Fabri. "Strong population growth has, in turn, boosted demand for rental accommodation, keeping vacancy rates low," added Fabri. Also, with both new and resale home prices up sharply, fewer renters are making the transition to homeownership. Rental housing starts have continued to lag behind growth in demand, contributing to low vacancy rates.

Rents were on the rise in 2006. The average one and two bedroom apartment rents in existing structures jumped 6.5 and 5.5 per cent, respectively, from 2005. Townhouses also experienced strong upward pressure on rents.

Elsewhere, both Kamloops and Vernon saw apartment vacancy rates dip below one per cent in 2006. Cranbrook's apartment vacancy rate fell to a thirteen year low. The Penticton vacancy rate increased in 2006, but remained below levels seen during the previous twelve year period. Vacancy rates declined in most other centres across the BC southern interior. Victoria and Calgary, at 0.5 per cent, recorded the lowest vacancy rates among Canada's major centres. The Vancouver area vacancy rate dropped in half to only 0.7 per cent from 1.4 per cent a year ago.

With the release of the 2006 Rental Market Survey results, CMHC advised its clients that by the fall of 2007, the scope of CMHC's Rental Market Survey will be extended to gather information on monthly rents in dwelling types(i) other than private apartments and condominium apartments such as duplexes and accessory apartments in a number of centres. Starting in the fall of 2007, Kelowna will be added to the list of centres where information on these dwelling types will be collected.

A second enhancement also starting in 2007, is that CMHC will be conducting a rental market survey in the spring, in addition to the one conducted in the fall. The results of the spring survey will be published in June and will provide centre-level information on key rental market indicators such as vacancy rates and average rents.

(i) CMHC's October Rental Market Survey, which covers private row and apartment structures with three or more units, is being expanded to include information on the secondary rental market. More specifically, for the Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal CMAs, the following types of units are now surveyed:

- rented single-detached houses;

- rented double (semi-detached) houses;

- rented freehold row/town houses;

- rented duplex apartments;

- rented accessory apartments;

- rented apartments which are part of a commercial or other type of structure containing one or two dwelling units.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national housing agency for over 60 years. CMHC contributes to improving the living conditions and the well-being of Canadians through four areas of housing activities - housing finance, assisted housing, research and information transfer, and export promotion. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, and making vibrant and sustainable communities and cities a reality across the country. For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1 800 668-2642.

To view the chart and tables accompanying this press release please click on the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/cmhc1214.pdf

Contact Information

  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Paul Fabri
    Market Analyst - Kelowna Office
    (250) 712-4334
    Email: pfabri@cmhc.ca
    Website: www.cmhc.ca