Candian rental market

Photo: Craig Moe/Flickr

Cities in British Columbia have the tightest rental markets in the country, according to new statistics from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The fall rental market report tracks conditions for the purpose-built rental market, which includes apartment and row structures that have at least three rental units.

The results? Among the 35 large metro areas studied, Vancouver and Kelowna had the lowest rate. In October 2014, the vacancy rate for both cities was just 1 per cent. The other end of the country saw the highest vacancy rates, with Saint John and Moncton home to vacancy rates of 9 and 8.7 per cent, respectively.

The average rental apartment vacancy rate across Canada’s 35 larger centres was 2.8 per cent, a slight increase over 2013’s rate of 2.7 per cent.

“Overall, this increase in supply outpaced the rise in occupied units, slightly pushing up the national vacancy rate,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre.

“That said, demand for rental housing was supported by net migration and steady levels of full-time employment in the 15 to 24 age group.”

As far as prices go, the CMHC uses two-bedroom apartments as the benchmark. The average for the census metropolitan areas studied was $941 a month in October 2014, up from $920 the same time last year.

Calgary had the highest rental rate among the cities at an average of $1,322. However, these stats exclude condo rentals, a significant portion of the market, especially in cities such as Toronto, which ranked third for rental prices, with a two-bedroom apartment costing $1,251.

Want to see how your city compares? Check out the interactive table below. You can sort by city or any of the rates:


The CMHC also looked into the condo rental market in a number of major metropolitan areas. In cities such as Toronto, home to the highest rental prices for a two-bedroom condo apartment, the 1.3 per cent vacancy rate was tighter for condos than it was for purpose-built apartments. The same situation played out in a number of other metros as well.

See how condo rentals and purpose built apartment rentals compare in the sortable table below:

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