Demand for Rental Units Remains High in Nova Scotia in 2007



    HALIFAX, June 6 /CNW/ - According to the results of Canada Mortgage
Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Spring Rental Market Survey(1), the vacancy rate
in privately initiated rental apartments in Nova Scotia centres with
population of 10,000 stood at 3.8 per cent during April 2007. The total
average rent in Nova Scotia was $720 per month.
    "Recent economic strength has boosted demand for multi-residential living
and rental accommodations in Nova Scotia," said Matthew Gilmore, CMHC's Senior
Market Analyst for Nova Scotia. "It is expected, however, that as the large
number of rental projects under construction reach completion, there will be
upward pressure on vacancy rates as supply begins to exceed demand over the
next 12 to 18 months," added Gilmore.
    The effect on vacancy rates from greater numbers of rental units will be
less noticeable in new rental projects than in older buildings. "It is
expected that the aging rental stock will be most affected by rising costs due
to less energy efficiency, more maintenance costs and less opportunity to
raise rents. Landlords of older buildings will find it increasingly difficult
to attract and retain tenants and simultaneously manage rising costs," said
Gilmore.

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national
housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians
access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant,
healthy communities and cities a reality across the country.

    
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    (1)CMHC's Rental Market Survey is now conducted twice a year in April and
       October, to provide vacancy, availability and rent information on
       privately initiated structures in all centres over 10,000 population
       across Canada. Reports are released in June and December.

    The spring survey covers apartment and row structures containing at least
three rental units, and unlike the fall survey does not report information on:

    1. Smaller geographic zones within centres
    2. Secondary rental market (rented condominium apartments, single
       detached, semi-detached, duplexes or accessory apartments).

    In our analysis, we have avoided making comparisons between the results of
the April 2007 rental market survey and the October 2006 survey. A key reason
for this is that changes in rents, vacancy rates, and availability rates
between the spring and the fall may not be solely attributable to changes in
rental market conditions; they could also reflect seasonal factors. For
example, if more people tend to move in the spring than in the fall, it could
have an impact on vacancy and availability rates as well as the level of
rents. Alternatively, in centres where there are a significant number of
university students, vacancy and availability rates could be higher in the
spring if students move home for the summer.
    To the extent that these types of seasonal variations exist, comparing
results from the spring and fall Rental Market Surveys could lead to incorrect
conclusions about trends in rental market conditions. To avoid this, we have
limited our analysis to the results of our spring 2007 Rental Market Survey
and comparing these results for different centres across Canada. In spring
2008, when we have results from our second spring Rental Market Survey, we
will be able to extend our analysis to make year over year comparisons.

    Note: A table of vacancy rates, availability rates and rents is attached.

    (Aussi disponible en français)


         VACANCY RATES, AVAILABILITY RATES, AVERAGE RENTS FOR NEW AND
      EXISTINGSTRUCTURES IN PRIVATELY INITIATED APARTMENT STRUCTURES OF
                     THREEUNITS AND OVER IN MAJOR CENTRES

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Vacancy Rate    Availability Rate    Average Rent
                                     (%)                  (%)    Two-Bedroom
                                                                          ($)
                             April 2007           April 2007      April 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nova Scotia                     3.8                  4.7             757
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Halifax CMA                     3.6                  4.6             793
    Cape Breton CA                  6.7                  6.7             592
    Kentville CA                    5.1                  5.2             584
    New Glasgow CA                  4.7                  4.9             582
    Truro CA                        4.2                  4.9             667
    




For further information:

For further information: Matthew Gilmore, Senior Market Analyst - NS,
(902) 426-4686, mgilmore@cmhc.ca


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