Nova Scotia Rental Market Tightens



    HALIFAX, June 5 /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's urban centres was
3.4 per cent in April 2008 compared to 3.8 per cent a year earlier. Average
rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Nova Scotia was $789 per month.
    "Demographic factors contributing to demand remain supportive of the
rental market in Nova Scotia", said Charlie Aucoin, Market Analyst with CMHC's
Atlantic Business Centre. "In addition to the fact that households are
becoming smaller, Nova Scotia recorded positive net migration in each of the
last three quarters of 2007, which also increases demand for rental
accommodations across the province", added Aucoin.
    With the recent high number of rental starts and completions, vacancy
rates will begin to face upward pressure as new units are added to the
provincial rental stock. "Developers have been responsive to demand with a
record level of rental construction over the past few years. However, a
skilled labour shortage in the province is contributing to project delays,
which provides some time for demand to catch up with supply. This will
moderate the expected upward pressure on vacancy", said Aucoin.

    As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on over 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.

    For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.

    
    --------------
    (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 2008 rental market survey and the October 2007 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.

    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
       EXISTING STRUCTURES IN PRIVATELY INITIATED APARTMENT STRUCTURES
                   OF THREE UNITS AND OVER IN MAJOR CENTRES

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Vacancy        Availability      Average Rent
                            Rate(2) (%)       Rate(3) (%)     Two-Bedroom ($)

                          April    April    April    April    April    April
                           2007     2008     2007     2008     2007     2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nova Scotia             3.8      3.4      4.7      4.1      757      789
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Halifax CMA             3.6      3.2      4.6      4.0      793      827
    Cape Breton CA          6.7      4.6      6.7      4.7      592      609
    Kentville CA            5.1      3.2      5.2      4.6      584      578
    New Glasgow CA          4.7      3.5      4.9      4.2      582      567
    Truro CA                4.2      4.9      4.9      5.0      667      679

    (2)Vacancy: A unit is considered vacant if, at the time of the survey, it
       is physically unoccupied and ready for immediate rental. In other
       words, a new tenant can sign a lease for a vacant unit and move in
       immediately.
    (3)Availability: A rental unit is considered available if it is vacant or
       the existing tenant has given or has received notice to move, and a
       new tenant has not signed a lease. In other words, an available unit
       is one for which a lease can be signed by a new tenant, whether the
       unit is occupied or not. Because the availability rate includes vacant
       units, the availability rate for a given area will never be lower than
       the vacancy rate for that particular area.
    




For further information:

For further information: Charlie Aucoin, Market Analyst - NS, (902)
426-8465, caucoin@cmhc.ca


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