Province-wide increase in vacancy rates driven by low prices, job losses, while Toronto bucks trend


An economic recession combined with a surplus of newly built condominiums means finding an apartment in Ontario is a little easier this year.

Province-wide vacancy rates increased from 3.1 per cent last April to 3.3 per cent in April 2009, according to figures released yesterday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

“Completion of condominiums, which continue to attract renter households looking to move into home ownership, are decreasing demand for rental housing,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said yesterday.

“Also, some of the completed condos compete with rental units if they were purchased by investors who then rent them out. These two factors have put upward pressure on the vacancy rate.”

Job losses have also had an impact on the vacancy rate, as some former renters may have had to move in with relatives or friends to weather the downturn.

In hard-hit areas such as Windsor, vacancy rates are at a high of 15.5 per cent, while the St. Catharines—Niagara area is registering a 5.3 per cent rate.

Read the full article by Tony Wong “Cheap condos turning renters into owners” in the Toronto Star, (June 11, 2009).

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