National rental vacancy rate increases in October 2009

OTTAWA, Dec. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The average rental apartment vacancy rate in Canada's 35 major centres(1) increased to 2.8 per cent in October 2009 from 2.2 per cent in October 2008, according to the Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Demand for rental housing in Canada decreased due to slower growth in youth employment and improved affordability of homeownership options", said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "Rental construction and competition from the condominium market also added upward pressure on vacancy rates."

Between October 2008 and September 2009, 15,657 rental units and 45,655 condominium units were completed in Canada's 35 major centres. Condominiums are a relatively inexpensive type of housing for renters moving to home ownership. Also, some condominium apartments are owned by investors who rent them out.

Provincial vacancy rates in October 2009 increased in eight out of ten provinces. The largest increases were in Alberta where the vacancy rate increased by 3 percentage points to 5.5 per cent and British Columbia where the vacancy rate rose by 1.8 percentage points to 2.8 per cent. Vacancy rates decreased by 0.1 of a percentage point in Newfoundland and Labrador to 1.0 per cent, and by 0.4 of a percentage point in Nova Scotia to 3.1 per cent.

The centres with the highest vacancy rates in 2009 were Windsor (13 per cent), Abbotsford (6.1 per cent), Peterborough (6.0 per cent), Calgary (5.3 per cent), and London (5.0 per cent). On the other hand, the major urban centres with the lowest vacancy rates were Regina (0.6 per cent), Québec (0.6 per cent), St. John's (0.9 per cent), Winnipeg (1.1 per cent), Kingston (1.3 per cent), and Victoria (1.4 per cent).

The highest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in new and existing structures were in Vancouver ($1,169), Calgary ($1,099), Toronto ($1,096), and Ottawa ($1,028).

The lowest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in new and existing structures were in Saguenay ($518), Trois-Rivières ($520), and Sherbrooke ($553).

Year-over-year comparison of rents in new and existing structures can be slightly misleading because rents in newly-built structures tend to be higher than in existing buildings. However, by excluding new structures, we can get a better indication of actual rent increases paid by most tenants. The average rent for two-bedroom apartments in existing structures increased in all major centres. The largest rent increases in existing structures were recorded in Regina (10.2 per cent), Saskatoon (8.3 per cent), Victoria (5.0 per cent), and St. John's (4.9 per cent). Overall, the average rent for two-bedroom apartments in existing structures across Canada's 35 major centres increased by 2.3 per cent between October 2008 and October 2009.

CMHC's October 2009 Rental Market Survey also covers condominium apartments offered for rent in Calgary, Edmonton, Montréal, Ottawa, Québec, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria. In 2009, vacancy rates for rental condominium apartments were below two per cent in seven of the 10 centres surveyed. Rental condominium vacancy rates were the lowest in Toronto, Saskatoon, and Ottawa. However, Regina and Edmonton registered the highest vacancy rates for condominium apartments at 3.0 per cent and 3.1 per cent in 2009, respectively.

The survey showed that vacancy rates for rental condominium apartments in 2009 were lower than vacancy rates in the conventional rental market in Ottawa, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, and Calgary. The highest average monthly rents for two-bedroom condominium apartments were in Toronto ($1,487), Vancouver ($1,448), Calgary ($1,310), and Victoria ($1,223). All surveyed centres posted average monthly rents for two-bedroom condominium apartments that were higher than average monthly rents for two-bedroom private apartments in the conventional rental market in 2009.

CMHC's Rental Market Survey also gathers information on monthly rents in types of dwellings(2) other than private apartments and condominium apartments, such as duplexes, and accessory apartments for 15 major centres.

The Rental Market Report for major centres also includes an affordability indicator for most centres. The rental affordability indicator is used to examine trends in rental affordability within a centre.

CMHC's Rental Market Survey is conducted twice a year, in April and in October, to provide vacancy rate and rent information on privately initiated apartment structures containing at least three rental units. However, due to possible seasonal factors, the April and October results are not compared.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

The full text of this press release is available on the internet at http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

To access CMHC's 2009 reports on the rental market select from the links below:

    
    -   Rental Market Reports - Major Centres now offer more coverage of the
        secondary rental market(3) in selected centres
    -   Rental Market Report - Provincial Highlights - providing a summary of
        rental market statistics for urban centres with a population of over
        10,000 in each province and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
    -   Rental Market Report - Canada Highlights - containing at a glance
        rental market information for Canada's 35 major centres
    -   Rental Market Statistics Report - a sourcebook of statistical tables
        with national, provincial and local rental housing market data

    Note: Tables of vacancy rates, availability rates and rents are attached.

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

                       (Aussi disponible en français)



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        1.0 Rental Market Indicators
      Privately Initiated Apartment Structures of Three Units and Over
                       Provinces and Major Centres(1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percentage
                                                                 Change of
                                                               Average Rent
                                               Average Rent   Two Bedroom (2)
                                               2 Bedroom ($)    From Fixed
                                                 (New and    Sample (Existing
    Centres    Vacancy Rates   Availability      existing       structures
                    (%)          Rates (%)      structures)        only)
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Oct-07  Oct-08
              Oct-08  Oct-09  Oct-08  Oct-09  Oct-08  Oct-09    to      to
                                                              Oct-08  Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Newfound-
     land &
     Labrador
     10,000+   1.1 a   1.0 a   1.6 a   1.3 a   596 a   634 a   3.7 a   4.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    St. John's
     CMA       0.8 a   0.9 a   1.5 a   1.2 a   630 a   677 a   3.8 a   4.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prince
     Edward
     Island
     10,000+   2.6 a   3.1 b   4.0 a   4.3 a   660 a   688 a   3.1 d   4.7 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Charlotte-
     town CA   2.3 a   3.4 b   4.0 a   4.9 a   672 a   701 a   3.3 d   4.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nova
     Scotia
     10,000+   3.5 a   3.1 a   4.0 a   3.4 a   795 a   838 a   2.0 a   2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Halifax
     CMA       3.4 a   2.9 a   3.9 a   3.2 a   833 a   877 a   2.0 a   2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    New
     Brunswick
     10,000+   3.6 a   3.8 a   4.0 a   4.2 a   635 a   656 a   2.6 a   3.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Moncton
     CMA       2.4 a   3.8 a   3.1 b   4.3 a   656 a   675 a   2.2 a   2.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saint
     John CMA  3.1 a   3.6 a   3.5 a   4.1 a   618 a   644 a   4.8 b   4.5 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec
     10,000+   2.2 a   2.4 a   2.8 a   3.1 a   628 a   640 a   2.1 a   2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-
     Gatineau
     CMA (Que.
     Part)     1.9 a   2.2 a   2.4 a   2.7 a   677 a   690 a   0.8 d   2.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal
     CMA       2.4 a   2.5 a   3.1 a   3.3 a   659 a   669 a   2.1 b   2.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA 0.6 a   0.6 a   1.2 a   1.0 a   653 a   676 a   2.0 b   3.5 c
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay
     CMA       1.6 a   1.5 a   2.2 a   2.4 a   518 a   518 a   1.5 d   4.0 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke
     CMA       2.8 a   3.9 a   2.9 a   4.3 a   543 a   553 a   2.0 b   2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-
     Rivières
     CMA       1.7 a   2.7 a   2.1 a   3.0 b   505 a   520 a   3.0 b   2.1 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario
     10,000+   2.7 a   3.5 a   4.3 a   5.5 a   948 a   955 a   1.9 a   2.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Barrie CMA 3.5 a   3.8 b   6.0 a   6.0 a   954 a   961 a   4.7 d   1.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Brantford
     CMA       2.4 a   3.3 b   2.8 a   3.9 b   752 a   754 a   2.7 b   1.1 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Greater
     Sudbury
     CMA       0.7 a   2.9 a   1.6 a   3.3 b   800 a   830 a   5.6 b   4.7 c
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Guelph CMA 2.3 a   4.1 a   4.5 a   6.6 a   869 a   874 a   1.6 a   1.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hamilton
     CMA       3.2 a   4.0 a   4.9 a   7.0 a   836 a   831 a   1.5 b   1.1 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kingston
     CMA       1.3 a   1.3 a   2.6 a   2.5 a   880 a   909 a   3.1 b   2.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kitchener
     CMA       1.8 a   3.3 a   4.3 a   6.1 a   845 a   856 a   0.9 a   1.7 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    London CMA 3.9 a   5.0 a   6.4 a   7.7 a   834 a   896 a   1.2 a   1.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    St.
    Catharines
     -Niagara
     CMA       4.3 a   4.4 a   6.8 a   6.3 a   777 a   804 a   2.1 a   2.2 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oshawa CMA 4.2 a   4.2 a   5.7 a   6.1 a   889 a   900 a   1.2 a   1.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-
     Gatineau
     CMA (Ont.
     Part)     1.4 a   1.5 a   2.9 a   3.5 a   995 a 1,028 a   3.7 a   2.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Peterbo-
     rough CMA 2.4 a   6.0 b   4.3 b   7.7 a   850 a   875 a   2.0 b   2.1 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thunder
     Bay CMA   2.2 a   2.3 a   2.7 a   3.1 a   719 a   742 a   1.3 a   2.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto
     CMA       2.0 a   3.1 a   3.7 a   5.0 a 1,095 a 1,096 a   1.7 a   2.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Windsor
     CMA      14.6 a  13.0 a  16.8 a   14.9 a  772 a   747 a    ++      ++
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


       The following letter codes are used to indicate the reliability
       ---------------------------------------------------------------
                              of the estimates:
                              -----------------
     a - Excellent, b - Very good, c - Good, d - Fair (Use with Caution)
       (xx) Data suppressed to protect confidentiality or data is not
                           statistically reliable
    ++ change in rent is not statistically significant. This means that the
         change in rent is not statistically different than zero (0)
              n/u: No units exist in universe for this category
             n/s: No units exist in the sample for this category
                             n/a: Not applicable



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        1.0 Rental Market Indicators
      Privately Initiated Apartment Structures of Three Units and Over
                         Provinces and Major Centres
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percentage
                                                                 Change of
                                                               Average Rent
                                               Average Rent    Two Bedroom(2)
                                               2 Bedroom ($)    From Fixed
                                                 (New and    Sample (Existing
    Centres    Vacancy Rates   Availability      existing       structures
                    (%)          Rates (%)      structures)        only)
             ----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Oct-07  Oct-08
              Oct-08  Oct-09  Oct-08  Oct-09  Oct-08  Oct-09    to      to
                                                              Oct-08  Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manitoba
     10,000+   0.9 a   1.1 a   1.4 a   1.8 a   748 a   788 a   3.5 a   4.1 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Winnipeg
     CMA       1.0 a   1.1 a   1.4 a   2.0 a   769 a   809 a   3.5 a   4.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskat-
     chewan
     10,000+   1.2 a   1.9 a   2.1 a   2.7 a   766 a   833 a   15.7 a  8.7 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regina CMA 0.5 a   0.6 a   1.2 a   1.2 a   756 a   832 a   13.5 a 10.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatoon
     CMA       1.9 a   1.9 a   3.2 a   3.4 a   841 a   905 a   20.3 a  8.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alberta
     10,000+   2.5 a   5.5 a   3.8 a   6.9 a 1,077 a 1,044 a    7.1 a -1.9 c
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calgary
     CMA       2.1 a   5.3 a   3.9 a   7.5 a 1,148 a 1,099 a    4.4 b  (xx)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edmonton
     CMA       2.4 a   4.5 a   3.3 a   5.6 a 1,034 a 1,015 a    9.2 a   ++
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    British
     Columbia
     10,000+   1.0 a   2.8 a   1.7 a   3.6 a   969 a 1,001 a    5.3 a  2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Abbotsford
     CMA       2.6 a   6.1 a   3.4 a   6.7 a   765 a   781 a    4.1 c  3.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kelowna
     CMA       0.3 a   3.0 a   1.4 a   3.9 a   967 a   897 a    8.4 a   ++
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vancouver
     CMA       0.5 a   2.1 a   1.1 a   2.8 a 1,124 a 1,169 a    4.6 a  2.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Victoria
     CMA       0.5 a   1.4 a   1.5 a   2.6 a   965 a 1,001 a    6.8 a  5.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada
     CMAs(1)   2.2 a   2.8 a   3.2 a   4.1 a   828 a   836 a    2.9 a  2.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada
     10,000+   2.3 a   3.0 a   3.3 a   4.2 a   804 a   812 a    3.0 a  2.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) Major centres are based on Statistics Canada Census Metropolitan
        Areas (CMAs) with the exception of the Ottawa-Gatineau CMA which is
        treated as two centres for Rental Market Survey purposes and
        Charlottetown, which is a Census Agglomeration (CA)
    (2) The Percentage Change of Average Rent is a measure of the market
        movement, and is based on those structures that were common to the
        survey sample for both years.


       The following letter codes are used to indicate the reliability
       ---------------------------------------------------------------
                              of the estimates:
                              -----------------
     a - Excellent, b - Very good, c - Good, d - Fair (Use with Caution)
       (xx) Data suppressed to protect confidentiality or data is not
                           statistically reliable
    ++ change in rent is not statistically significant. This means that the
         change in rent is not statistically different than zero (0)
              n/u: No units exist in universe for this category
             n/s: No units exist in the sample for this category
                             n/a: Not applicable



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     4.1 Rental Condominium Apartments and Private Apartments in the RMS(1)
      Vacancy Rates (%), Average Rents ($) and Percentage of Condominium
                            Apartments in Rental Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Vacancy Rates (%)      Average Rent ($)
                        ------------------------------------------
                                                     2 Bedroom
                                               -------------------
                                                                   Percentage
                                                                    of Condo
        Centres                                                      Apts in
                          Rental    Apts in     Rental    Apts in  Rental vs.
                           Condo      the        Condo      the      Owner-
                           Apts      RMS(1)      Apts      RMS(1)     ship
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calgary CMA            1.5 a      5.3 a    1,310 a    1,099 a     25.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edmonton CMA           3.1 c      4.5 a    1,122 a    1,015 a     24.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA           2.7 a      2.5 a    1,070 b      669 a      9.7 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau CMA
     (Ont. Part)           1.1 a      1.5 a    1,193 b    1,028 a     19.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA             1.6 a      0.6 a      829 b      676 a      8.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regina CMA             3.0 c      0.6 a          .      832 a     15.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatoon CMA          1.0 a      1.9 a          .      905 a     14.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto CMA            0.9 a      3.1 a    1,487 a    1,096 a     20.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vancouver CMA          1.7 b      2.1 a    1,448 b    1,169 a     23.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Victoria CMA           1.7 a      1.4 a    1,223 b    1,001 a     17.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Apartments surveyed in the Rental Market Survey (RMS) include only
        those in purpose built rental buildings with at least 3 rental units.



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      4.2 Rental Condominium Apartments
     Vacancy Rates (%), Average Rents ($) and Percentage of Condominium
                            Apartments in Rental
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Percentage of
                                                               Condominium
                                                 Average       Apartments
                              Vacancy Rates     2 Bedroom       in Rental
    Centres                         (%)          Rent ($)      vs Ownership
                             ------------------------------------------------
                              Oct-08  Oct-09  Oct-08  Oct-09  Oct-08  Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calgary CMA                3.5 b   1.5 a 1,293 b 1,310 a  18.0 a  25.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edmonton CMA               4.3 c   3.1 c 1,099 b 1,122 a  23.3 a  24.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA               3.2 b   2.7 a 1,037 b 1,070 b   9.4 a   9.7 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau CMA (Ont.
     Part)                     0.5 a   1.1 a 1,103 b 1,193 b  19.1 a  19.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                 1.3 a   1.6 a   (xx)    829 b   8.4 a   8.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regina CMA                 0.3 a   3.0 c   n/a     n/u    11.7 a  15.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatoon CMA              1.8 b   1.0 a   n/a     n/u    11.5 a  14.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto CMA                0.4 a   0.9 a 1,625 b 1,487 a  19.1 a  20.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vancouver CMA              0.6 a   1.7 b 1,507 c 1,448 b  22.1 a  23.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Victoria CMA               2.0 b   1.7 a 1,096 b 1,223 b  16.9 a  17.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


       The following letter codes are used to indicate the reliability
       ---------------------------------------------------------------
                              of the estimates:
                              -----------------
     a - Excellent, b - Very good, c - Good, d - Fair (Use with Caution)
       (xx) Data suppressed to protect confidentiality or data is not
                           statistically reliable
    ++ change in rent is not statistically significant. This means that the
         change in rent is not statistically different than zero (0)
              n/u: No units exist in universe for this category
             n/s: No units exist in the sample for this category
                             n/a: Not applicable


    ------------------------------
    (1) Major centres are based on Statistics Canada Census Metropolitan
        Areas (CMAs) with the exception of the Ottawa-Gatineau CMA which is
        treated as two centres for Rental Market Survey purposes and
        Charlottetown, which is a Census Agglomeration (CA).

    (2) CMHC's October Rental Market Survey, which covers private row and
        apartment structures with three or more units was expanded to include
        information on the secondary rental market (rented single-detached
        houses, rented double/semi-detached houses, rented freehold row/town
        houses, rented duplex apartments, rented accessory apartments and
        rented apartments which are part of a commercial or other type of
        structure containing one or two dwelling units) in the following 15
        major centres: Vancouver, Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Edmonton,
        Ottawa, Québec, Halifax, Abbotsford, St. John's, Kelowna, Barrie,
        Saskatoon, Regina and Victoria CMAs.

    (3) The secondary rental market includes the following types of units:
        rented single-detached houses, rented double (semi-detached) houses,
        rented freehold row/town houses, rented duplex apartments, rented
        accessory apartments and rented apartments which are part of a
        commercial or other type of structure containing one or two dwelling
        units.
    

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Charles Sauriol, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-2799, csauriol@cmhc-schl.gc.ca


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