A resurgence of migration, particularly from interprovincial sources, has increased the demand for rental units: CMHC

Mario ToneguzziThe rental vacancy rates in the Calgary and Edmonton regions have fallen in the past year, according to the latest Rental Market Survey released on Wednesday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

In Calgary, the federal agency said the apartment vacancy rate significantly decreased for the second consecutive year to 3.9 per cent in 2018 from 6.3 per cent in 2017.

„The average two-bedroom rent was $1,272 in October 2018 compared to $1,247 in October 2017, added the report.

“A resurgence of migration, particularly from interprovincial sources, has increased the demand for rental units, resulting in significantly lower vacancy rates and rising rents in Calgary,” said James Cuddy, senior analyst for CMHC.

CMHC said this is the second consecutive year of declining vacancy rates, representing a significant tightening of the rental market. Supply in the primary rental market continued to post strong gains in 2018, growing by 3.7 per cent. Purpose-built rental apartments increased by 1,407 units from 38,160 in October 2017 to 39,567 in October 2018. However, demand outpaced supply: 2,268 additional units were occupied in October 2018 compared to last year.

In Edmonton, CMHC said the apartment vacancy rate was 5.3 per cent in October 2018, down 1.7 percentage points from last year. The average two-bedroom rent was $1,246 in October 2018 compared to $1,215 in October 2017.

“Despite growing supply in the primary rental market, vacancy rates have moved lower and rental rates have risen,” said Cuddy.

The CMHC said the vacancy rate in the Edmonton region declined despite a 2.4 per cent increase in primary rental market supply. Purpose-built rental apartments increase by 1,638 units from 67,432 in October 2017 to 69,070 in October 2018. Demand outpaced new supply as 2,698 additional units were occupied in October 2018 compared to last year.

Canada’s overall vacancy rate declined for the second year in a row to reach 2.4 per cent (3.0 per cent in 2017),  bringing the vacancy rate for apartments in the primary rental market below the average of the last 10 years (3.0 per cent).


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