Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 15, 2010 09:11 ET

CMHC: Overall Vacancy Rate Unchanged in New Brunswick

MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - June 15, 2010) - In April(1), the overall vacancy rate for apartment units in New Brunswick's urban centres remained unchanged at 4.7 per cent according to figures released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Reduced demand for rental units resulted in a higher vacancy rate in most of the province's urban centres in the spring of 2010," said Claude Gautreau, CMHC's senior market analyst for New Brunswick. Among New Brunswick's three large urban centres, Fredericton posted the only vacancy rate decline, with a 1.8 percentage point decrease to 3.5 per cent. In Moncton and Saint John, the vacancy rate was up by 0.4 and 0.6 percentage points to 4.5 and 4.6 per cent, respectively. "In-migration continues to support demand for rental units primarily in New Brunswick's larger urban centres," continued Gautreau.

In most of New Brunswick's smaller urban areas, the vacancy rates were higher than the provincial average of 4.7 per cent. The highest vacancy rate in the province was 9.8 per cent in Edmundston. In Campbellton and Bathurst, the vacancy rates stood at 6.8 and 8.9 per cent, respectively. The vacancy rate in Miramichi was the lowest in the province at 3.4 per cent.

In Fredericton and Moncton, the average two-bedroom rent was above the provincial average at $710 and $682, respectively. The average two-bedroom rent in Saint John was lower than the provincial average at $644. The average two-bedroom rent in the province's smaller urban centres varied between $494 and $538.

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.

(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 2010 rental market survey and the October 2009 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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VACANCY RATES, AVAILABILITY RATES, AVERAGE RENTS FOR NEW AND EXISTING STRUCTURES IN PRIVATELY INITIATED APARTMENT STRUCTURES OF THREE UNITS AND OVER IN MAJOR CENTRES

  Vacancy
(i)
Availability
(ii)
Average Rents
($)
  Rate Rate Two Bedroom Units
Centre Apr-09 Apr-10    Apr-09    Apr-10 Apr-09  Apr-10
Moncton CMA 4.1 4.5 5.3 6.4 673 682
Saint John CMA 4.0 4.6 4.5 5.0 643 644
Bathurst CA 7.3 8.9 7.7 9.3 522 538
Campbellton CA 7.2 6.8 8.0 7.7 517 533
Edmundston CA 9.2 9.8 10.0 10.5 463 494
Fredericton CA 5.3 3.5 5.7 5.3 712 710
Miramichi CA 2.0 3.4 2.2 5.0 524 532
New Brunswick 10,000+ 4.7 4.7 5.4 6.0 653 659

(i)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 immediately.

(ii)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.

Contact Information

  • CMHC Market Analysis Centre
    Claude Gautreau
    506-851-2742
    Cell: 506-866-9002
    cgautrea@cmhc.ca