The city of Vancouver in Canada already has a reputation for being one of the most expensive housing markets in the country but new data has also revealed this is impacting renters, according to an article in msn money.com.
Figures released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation show the highest average monthly rent for a two bedroom purpose built apartment in Vancouver was $1,345, compared to Calgary at $1,319 per month and Toronto at $1,269. The figures are based on data from April this year and cover 35 major centers in Canada. The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom unit in Canada, including new and existing structures was $949. The lowest average monthly rent was just $571 and was found in Trois-Rvieres, Quebec. Monthly rents were also low in Saguenay and in Sherbooke, Quebec at $583 and $607 respectively. This particular survey doesn’t include rented apartments or condos in single detached and semi-detached homes.
The survey also showed the average vacancy rate for primary purpose built apartments increased to 2.9% in April this year, up from 2.7% for the same time last year. However the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation point out this difference is not statistically significant, suggesting that vacancy rates are relatively stable. This stability is due in part to the negative impact of lower oil prices which is affecting rental demand in oil producing provinces, particularly Saskatchewan and Alberta. In comparison, vacancy rates dropped in most major cities in British Columbia and Ontario, reflecting the stronger economic conditions in these regions.
Ontario has seen employment conditions for adults aged between 15 and 24 improve, while a steady supply of rental units has placed downward pressure on vacancy rates. In British Columbia there has been an increase in the province’s rental market supply but this has been offset by increased immigration to the province. Areas where vacancy rates are low include Vancouver at 1.4%, Victoria in British Columbia at 1.2%, and Guelph in Ontario at 0.6%. The area with the highest vacancy rate was Moncton in New Brunswick at 8.8%, followed by St. John in New Brunswick at 8.4% and Gatineau in Québec at 6.2%.
This particular survey is carried out twice yearly in April and October and covers communities with populations of 10,000 or more. The April survey assesses vacancy rates in apartments and row structures that contain at least three rental units and unlike the survey carried out in October does not include information on the secondary rental market.