Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

December 13, 2011 12:07 ET

Vacancy Rates Edge Lower in British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2011) - According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Fall Rental Market Survey, the vacancy rate in British Columbia edged lower to 2.4 per cent in October 2011, compared to 2.7 per cent in October 2010.

"Demand for rental housing remained strong, reflecting improving labour market conditions with a continued flow of people moving to the province," noted Carol Frketich, CMHC's BC Regional Economist. "Combined with limited increases in the supply of new purpose-built rental housing, this demand contributed to lower rental vacancy rates in October."

CMHC reports that Vancouver is the primary destination for most people coming to the province, and Vancouver is also the region with the strongest job creation so far this year, and recorded one of the lowest vacancy rates among the twenty-seven centres surveyed in the province.

Rent levels were consistent with overall rental market conditions. The estimated increase in average rents kept pace with the general rate of inflation. For rental structures common to the survey in both years, the estimated increase in average rents ranged from 2.1 for a one-bedroom unit to 2.5 per cent for units with three or more bedrooms. The average provincial rent for a two-bedroom apartment in new and existing rental buildings was $1,050 per month. A one-bedroom apartment rented for $891 per month on average.

"Investor-owned apartments are an important addition to rental market supply in British Columbia," added Frketich. CMHC's October 2011 Rental Market Survey includes a Condominium Apartment Rent Survey and a Condominium Apartment Vacancy Survey. The vacancy rate for rental condominium apartments in Vancouver and Victoria was 0.9 per cent and 1.2 per cent in October 2011, down from 2.2 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively, in October 2010.

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

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

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