Canada’s vacancy rate declined this year. It reached 2.4% in 2018, which is slightly lower than the 3.0% in 2017.
These figures were highlighted in Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Rental Market Survey released on Wednesday.
The survey “conducted in October 2018, provides data and analysis for both the primary and purpose-built rental market as well as the secondary rental market”.
The primary rental market, consists of units in privately initiated, purpose-built rental structures of three units or more. The secondary rental market covers condominium apartments offered for rent.
British Columbia Statistics
British Columbia has seen the largest rent increase in Canada this year.
In total, the overall vacancy rate increased to 1.4% and the average rent in BC is now $1,248 (up by 6.3%).
“Demand for rental housing in BC increased and although new rental supply outpaced demand, vacancy rates remain low,” stated Taylor Pardy, Acting Regional Economist, West.
Here’s a look at the primary rental market (by bedroom type):
Highlights In Vacancy Rates (Primary Market)
- Nationally, demand for rental housing grew more than supply. For all surveyed centres the number of units occupied increased by 2.6% in October 2018 compared to October 2017, while the survey universe increased by approximately 1.9%.
- The vacancy rate increased slightly in Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba and decreased in Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Atlantic provinces.
- In British Columbia, the vacancy rate remained low despite a slight increase to 1.4%, compared to 1.3% in 2017. Some of the lowest vacancy rates were recorded in Vancouver (1.0%), Abbotsford-Mission (1.0%) and Victoria (1.2%).
- In Ontario, the vacancy rate remained near historical lows at 1.8%, compared to 1.6% in 2017. The lowest vacancy rates can be found in Kingston (0.6%) and Toronto (1.1%).
- Manitoba posted a slight increase in its vacancy rate from 2.7% in 2017 to 2.9% in 2018.
- In Quebec, the rental market has tightened significantly: the vacancy rate went from 3.4% in 2017 to 2.3% in 2018. The lowest rate being in Gatineau (1.2%).
- The vacancy rate declined in Alberta from 7.5% in 2017 to 5.5% in 2018 and in Saskatchewan, more modestly from 9.3% in 2017 to 8.7% in 018.
- In the Atlantic, all provinces saw a decline in vacancy rates: Prince Edward Island from 1.2% in 2017 to 0.3% in 2018, in Nova Scotia from 2.6% in 2017 to 2.0% in 2018 and in New Brunswick 4.1% in 017 to 3.2% in 2018 is due to a steady rise in rental demand. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the vacancy rate decreased from 6.6% in 2017 to 6.0% in 2018.