Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 17, 2015 08:15 ET

Vacancy Rate for Seniors' Residences in Alberta Moves Lower in 2015

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - June 17, 2015) - According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) 2015 Seniors' Housing Report released today, the vacancy rate for standard retirement spaces in Alberta declined to 8.1 per cent in 2015 from 8.5 per cent in 2014. In the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) the vacancy rate was 6.3 per cent in 2015, down from 7.1 per cent in 2014. The vacancy rate in the Calgary CMA increased, moving from 4.8 per cent to 6.4 per cent. Outside of the province's two largest cities, the vacancy rate declined from 16.1 per cent in 2014 to 13.1 per cent in 2015.

In Alberta, the average rental rate for a standard space was $2,922 in 2015 for all suite types, compared to $2,826 a year earlier. The additional amenities and services provided in seniors' residences typically push rents above those in the purpose-built rental market. At the provincial level, all bedroom type categories witnessed an increase in average rent. Suites with two-bedrooms or more reported an average rent of $3,542 in 2015, up from $3,442 in 2014. The average rent for bachelor and one-bedroom suites also increased from the previous year. From 2014 to 2015, the average rent for bachelor suites rose to $2,405, while one-bedroom suites increased to $2,960.

CMHC's seniors' housing survey included 11,143 retirement spaces, up six per cent from 2014. The survey included 105 residences and counted 11,307 seniors living in these residences. Although the number of spaces increased at a faster pace than the population of seniors aged 75 and over, the capture rate(1) for the survey increased to 5.5 per cent, up from 5.2 per cent in 2014. This means that a larger proportion of Alberta's seniors chose to live in a retirement home in 2015.

There are a number of services and amenities found in seniors' residences that are not typically present in a purpose-built rental building. These services cater to seniors and may include medical services, meal plans, housekeeping and various recreational programs. CMHC's seniors' housing survey only includes those facilities that offer at least an on-site meal plan. The majority of structures surveyed in Alberta, over 64 per cent, had three meals included in the rent. As was the case in the 2014 survey, the most common amenities were a 24-hour call bell service and an exercise facility. These amenities were found in 93 and 87 per cent of structures surveyed in 2015, respectively, in Alberta.

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 information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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

(1) The capture rate is the proportion of the population aged 75 and over living in the survey universe.

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Contact Information

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