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Average Rental Vacancy Rates Rise to 1.7 Per Cent

OTTAWA, Ontario, November 26, 2002 — The average rental apartment vacancy rate in Canada's 28 metropolitan areas1 rose to 1.7% in October this year from 1.1% in October 2001, according to the Rental Market Survey released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) today. This is the first increase in the vacancy rate since 1992.

"Many factors contributed to the increased vacancy rates over the past year", said Michel Laurence, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre "Foremost among them are low mortgage rates, which have reduced the carrying cost of home ownership. This encouraged many people to make the switch from renting to owning, causing vacancy rates to go up in many metropolitan areas."

Seventeen of Canada's 28 metropolitan areas have higher vacancy rates than one year ago. Highest recorded vacancy rates are in, Saint John (NB), Sudbury, Chicoutimi-Jonquière and Thunder Bay. Lowest vacancy rates recorded are in Québec City, Gatineau, Montréal and Kingston. All had rates under one per cent.

Vacancy rates were higher in eight of Ontario's 11 metropolitan areas. Of the eight metropolitan areas, with higher rates, Toronto, Kitchener, Ottawa, Oshawa and Windsor increased by one percentage point or more.

In Quebec, two of six metropolitan areas had higher vacancy rates than 2001. The greatest relative increase occurred in Chicoutimi-Jonquière (4.9 from 4.4%), while Montréal's vacancy rate rose to 0.7% from 0.6%. Vacancy rates in Gatineau, Québec City, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières declined.

In the Prairies and British Columbia, vacancy rates went up in five of eight metropolitan areas, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Vancouver and Victoria. Abbotsford, Regina and Winnipeg experienced declines.

In Atlantic Canada, the vacancy rate in Saint John (NB) rose to 6.3%, the highest rate of all Canadian metropolitan areas. Rates increased slightly in St. John's (NFLD) and fell slightly in Halifax.

CMHC's annual rent survey shows that average rents for two-bedroom apartments increased in all metropolitan areas except, Thunder Bay where it remained unchanged. The greatest increase occurred in Edmonton at 8.4%. Halifax posted the second-largest increase at 4.6%. Average rents in Gatineau, Sudbury, Montréal and Windsor also rose more than 4%.

The highest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments remained in Toronto ($1,047), Vancouver ($954) and Ottawa ($930). The lowest average rents were in Trois-Rivières ($431) and Chicoutimi-Jonquière ($440).

CMHC's Rental Market Survey is conducted yearly in October, to provide vacancy rate and rent information on privately initiated apartment structures containing at least three rental units.

For further information contact:

Michel Laurence
CMHC
(613) 748-2737
mlaurenc@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

1 census metropolitan areas as defined by Statistics Canada

Note: Tables of vacancy rates and rents are attached.

For local rental market information, please contact your local CMHC branch.

CMHC's Rental Market Survey is conducted yearly in October, to provide vacancy rate and rent information on privately initiated apartment structures containing at least three rental units.

Vacancy Rates in Apartment Structures of Three Units and Over Privately Initiated, in Metropolitan Areas

 

October
1998

October
1999

October
2000

October
2001

October
2002

Atlantic Region          
St.John's

15.4

9.2

3.8

2.5

2.7

Halifax

5.5

3.6

3.6

2.8

2.7

Saint John

7.3

5.2

3.4

5.6

6.3

Quebec Region          

Chicoutimi-Jonquière

4.8

4.9

4.4

4.4

4.9

Gatineau

6.7

4.4

1.4

0.6

0.5

Montréal

4.7

3.0

1.5

0.6

0.7

Québec

5.2

3.3

1.6

0.8

0.3

Sherbrooke

7.3

7.6

4.7

2.3

1.8

Trois-Rivières

8.5

7.9

6.8

4.7

3.0

Ontario Region

 

 

 

 

 

Hamilton

3.2

1.9

1.7

1.3

1.6

Kingston*

5.4

3.4

1.8

1.5

0.9

Kitchener

1.5

1.0

0.7

0.9

2.3

London

4.5

3.5

2.2

1.6

2.0

Oshawa

2.0

1.7

1.7

1.3

2.3

Ottawa

2.1

0.7

0.2

0.8

1.9

St.Catharines-Niagara

4.6

3.2

2.6

1.9

2.4

Sudbury

9.4

11.1

7.7

5.7

5.1

Thunder Bay

9.3

7.5

5.8

5.8

4.7

Toronto

0.8

0.9

0.6

0.9

2.5

Windsor

4.3

2.7

1.9

2.9

3.9

Prairies Region

         

Calgary

0.6

2.8

1.3

1.2

2.9

Edmonton

1.9

2.2

1.4

0.9

1.7

Regina

1.7

1.4

1.4

2.1

1.9

Saskatoon

0.8

0.9

1.7

2.9

3.7

Winnipeg

4.0

3.0

2.0

1.4

1.2

British Columbia Region

         

Abbotsford*

7.4

6.7

3.7

2.4

2.0

Vancouver

2.7

2.7

1.4

1.0

1.4

Victoria

3.8

3.6

1.8

0.5

1.5

Total (1)

3.4

2.6

1.6

1.1

1.7

 

(1)Weighted average of Metropolitan Areas Surveyed.

* Data prior to 2002 is based on the census agglomeration definition, 2002 data is based on the census metropolitan area definition.

 

Weighted Average Rent by Metropolitan Area

Privately Initiated Three Apartment Units and Over

 

One-Bedroom

Two-Bedroom

 

October
2001

October
2002

October
2001

October
2002

Atlantic Region

$

$

$

$

St.John's

489

510

575

589

Halifax

554

572

673

704

Saint John

406

424

483

492

Quebec Region









Chicoutimi-Jonquière

364

370

439

440

Gatineau

485

509

573

599

Montréal

476

505

529

552

Québec

473

489

538

550

Sherbrooke

366

369

446

456

Trois-Rivières

358

370

419

431

Ontario Region

 

 

 

 

Hamilton

608

627

740

765

Kingston*

594

598

709

727

Kitchener

615

638

722

750

London

547

566

683

705

Oshawa

692

713

799

819

Ottawa

762

767

914

930

St.Catharines

569

583

680

695

Sudbury

500

513

620

647

Thunder Bay

529

532

657

657

Toronto

866

891

1,027

1,047

Windsor

618

638

738

769

Prairies Region









Calgary

649

657

783

804

Edmonton

537

575

654

709

Regina

476

480

568

581

Saskatoon

460

461

558

567

Winnipeg

476

490

605

622

British Columbia Region









Abbotsford*

517

530

645

650

Vancouver

726

743

919

954

Victoria

592

605

751

771

 

* Data prior to 2002 is based on the census agglomeration definition, 2002 data is based on the census metropolitan area definition.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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