Canada rental vacancy rates Photo: brrad/Flickr

Vacancy rates for purpose-built rental apartments rose this year in Canada by 0.1 per cent.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s semi-annual Fall Rental Market Survey, the average vacancy rate was 2.7 per cent in October 2013, compared to 2.6 per cent in October 2012. (Tweet this stat)

The CMHC says an increase in the supply of purpose-built rentals was partially offset by increasing rental housing demand across the country.

“Demand for rental housing was supported by both higher levels of full-time employment in the 15 to 24 age group, and a rise in net migration. Meanwhile, demand for rental condominium apartments remained strong,” said CMHC deputy chief economist Mathieu Laberge.

Vacancy rates

The survey studies Canada’s 35 major urban centres — or what Statistics Canada calls Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). According to the data, in October 2013, the major centres with the lowest vacancy rates were in Calgary (1.0 per cent), Edmonton (1.4 per cent) and Toronto (1.6 per cent). (Tweet this stat)

The centres with the highest vacancy rates were in Saint John (11.4 per cent), Moncton (9.1 per cent) and Charlottetown (7.9 per cent).

Rental costs

Between October 2012 and October 2013, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment across Canada’s 35 major centres increased 2.5 per cent to $920 a month. (Tweet this stat)

The highest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments were in Vancouver ($1,281), Calgary ($1,224) and Toronto ($1,213). The lowest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments were in Trois-Rivières ($555), Saguenay ($571) and Sherbrooke ($591).

Condo vacancy rates

CMHC’s rental survey also looks at condos offered for rent in Canada’s 11 largest urban centres, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. In this particular segment, condo rental vacancy rates ranged from a high of 5.9 per cent in Québec City to a low of 0.7 per cent in Saskatoon, holding steady in most centres from October 2012. Average monthly rents for two-bedroom condos were highest in Toronto ($1,752) and lowest in Québec City ($980).

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