Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

December 16, 2014 12:41 ET

October 2014 Rental Market in Vancouver and Abbotsford-Mission CMAs

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 16, 2014) - The rental apartment vacancy rate1 in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) declined to 1.0 per cent in October 2014, compared to 1.7 per cent in October 2013 according to the Fall Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

"There are several factors that contributed to lower vacancy rates in the Vancouver CMA," said Robyn Adamache, Senior Market Analyst with CMHC. "Employment and population growth, together with higher post-secondary student enrolment, added to demand for rental housing. Also, the rising cost of home ownership may have encouraged some people to stay in rental housing rather than buy."

A higher vacancy rate in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA suggests that renters there had more rental options than in other parts of the Lower Mainland. Steady rental demand kept pace with a slight increase in the supply of purpose-built rental housing. As a result, the vacancy rate remained stable at 3.1 per cent.

On the basis of a sample of rental buildings common to both the 2013 and 2014 surveys2, the average two-bedroom apartment rent increased by 2.5 and 1.1 per cent in the Vancouver and Abbotsford- Mission CMAs, respectively.

CMHC recognizes that there is demand to fill information gaps with respect to Canada's housing markets. To address this need CMHC has, for the first time, asked property managers to provide information on the total number of condominium apartment units owned by people whose permanent residence is outside of Canada as part of its survey. The condominium foreign investment information was collected in 11 Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) in Canada. They include: Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec.

The results of this additional question indicate that the percentage of foreign investment in condominiums in Victoria is 1.1 per cent, Vancouver 2.3 per cent, Calgary 0.2 per cent, Edmonton 0.1 per cent, Saskatoon 0.3 per cent, Regina 0.1 per cent, Winnipeg 0.1 per cent, Toronto 2.4 per cent, Ottawa 0.7 per cent, Montréal 1.5 per cent and Québec 0.6 per cent. With respect to location, the city core in Canada's largest rental markets (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver) experienced larger foreign condominium ownership. (More details can be found on page 5 of the National report).

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

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

1 The survey is based on privately-initiated rental apartment structures of three or more units.

2 When comparing year-over-year average rents, the age of the building needs to be taken into consideration because rents in newly-built structures tend to be higher than in existing buildings. By comparing rents for units that are common to both 2014 and 2013 Fall Rental Market Surveys, we can get a better indication of actual rent increases paid by most tenants.

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Additional data is available upon request.

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