Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

December 12, 2013 08:15 ET

October 2013 Rental Market in British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 12, 2013) - The rental apartment vacancy rate(1) in British Columbia's urban centres(2) was 2.4 per cent in October 2013, down from 2.7 per cent in October 2012 according to the Fall Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

"Increased demand for rental housing from young adult and immigrant households more than offset a modest increase in the rental universe. This resulted in a lower rental vacancy rate in British Columbia this fall compared to last," said Carol Frketich, CMHC's Regional Economist for British Columbia.

The apartment vacancy rate edged lower to 1.7 per cent in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) but was relatively unchanged in the Victoria CMA at 2.8 per cent. The Kelowna and Abbotsford-Mission CMAs recorded significant declines compared to October 2012.

On the basis of a sample of structures common to both the 2012 and 2013 surveys(3), the average two-bedroom apartment rent increased by 1.8 per cent in British Columbia. Rent increases were generally lower in centres with higher vacancy rates and higher in centres with lower vacancy rates. For example, in the Victoria CMA, fixed sample rents increased 0.7 per cent while in the Vancouver CMA a 2.1 per cent increase was recorded.

Apartment vacancy rates in British Columbia were either unchanged or lower across all bedroom types, except bachelor apartments. Demand for smaller rental units remained strong with the bachelor apartment vacancy rate at 1.8 per cent in October 2013, compared to 1.5 per cent in October 2012.

Rental Market data is also available in English and French at the following link:
Fall Rental Market Report

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of 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.

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(1) The survey is based on privately-initiated rental apartment structures of three or more units.
(2) Urban centres is defined as centres with a population of 10,000 or more.
(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 2011 and October 2012 surveys provides a better indication of actual rent increases paid by tenants.

Additional data is available upon request.

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To view the table accompanying this press release please click on the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/917338_ENG.pdf

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