Rental Market Survey (Province of Quebec, fall 2009)

MONTREAL, Dec. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the results of the Rental Market Survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the overall vacancy rate for Quebec's urban centres showed little change this year, edging up to 2.4 per cent in October 2009, compared to 2.2 per cent a year earlier. This relative stability reflects the conditions observed most major centres of the province, as four of the six census metropolitan areas (CMAs)-including Montréal-saw their vacancy rates change by no more than a few tenths of a point, in relation to 2008. In other centres, rental market conditions eased somewhat, but most of the vacancy rate changes, whether up or down, were equal to or less than one percentage point.

"While rates showed little change over the past year, it is considered that the factors affecting the market still evolved during this period, especially those related to demand: the increase in immigration and weaker movement of renters to homeownership contributed to supporting demand. However, a less prosperous labour market for young people no doubt slowed the formation of renter households. The recession will therefore have had multiple and contrasting effects on rental housing demand. Supply, for its part, remained generally stagnant over this period," said Kevin Hughes, Regional Economist at CMHC for Quebec.

In addition to affecting demand, the current economic conditions heightened a phenomenon that has been observed for several years on Quebec's rental markets, namely, a stronger demand for large units. "For one thing, the less favourable situation for working renters (young people and part-time workers) likely encouraged them to share accommodations. Also, by slowing the movement of renters to homeownership, the economic uncertainty stimulated demand for more affordable substitute dwellings, including large apartments," added Kevin Hughes.

Rents

On average, the rents charged across Quebec rose by about 2.8 per cent over 2008. The estimated changes in rents varied between 2.1 per cent and 3.7 per cent in the CMAs. According to CMHC's affordability indicator, the major urban centres in Quebec still appear to have the most affordable rental markets in the country. The indicator posted gains (showing rising affordability) in the Montréal, Sherbrooke and Saguenay CMAs, while the Québec and Gatineau areas registered moderate decreases.

Secondary rental market

According to the Secondary Rental Market Survey results, nearly 10 per cent (9,848 units) of the condominiums in the Montréal CMA were rental units in October 2009, while the proportion was 8 per cent (1,618 units) in the Québec CMA. In the Montréal area, the vacancy rate for dwellings of this type was 2.7 per cent, a level comparable to the rate for the traditional rental market in the CMA. In the Québec area, the rental condominium market was less tight (vacancy rate of 1.6 per cent) than the traditional rental apartment market. "As for the differences in rents between rental condominiums and traditional rental housing units, two facts are noteworthy: first, this gap was wider in the Montréal CMA (60 per cent) than in the Québec CMA (28 per cent) and, second, in Montréal, this gap was widest for two-bedroom apartments (60 per cent, compared to 55 per cent for one-bedroom apartments and 37 per cent for three-bedroom units)," concluded Mr. Hughes.

Around the province

As the vacancy rate showed little change in the province overall, it was not surprising to see a comparable result in the Montréal CMA. In fact, the vacancy rate there edged up by just one tenth of a point, reaching 2.5 per cent in October 2009. The homeownership trend-stronger than expected-and the job losses among young people aged from 15 to 24 years offset the rise in migration, which kept the vacancy rate relatively stable. The estimated change in the rents charged in existing structures between October 2008 and October 2009 reached an average of 2.7 per cent.

The rental market remained tight in the Québec CMA, as the vacancy rate stayed at 0.6 per cent this past October. This area therefore had the tightest market in the province. The rise in demand-resulting from relatively favourable economic conditions-came up against a small increase in supply. The scarcity of units was particularly marked in the case of apartments with three or more bedrooms. As well, the estimated change in the average rent was 3.7 per cent.

The vacancy rate in the Ottawa-Gatineau CMA (Quebec part) went up from 1.9 per cent in October 2008 to 2.2 per cent a year later. This small rise was due in part to the job losses (especially among young people) that occurred over the past year. With the rental market still relatively tight, rents continued to rise this year. It is estimated that the average apartment rent increased by 2.4 per cent between October 2008 and October 2009.

In the Sherbrooke CMA, the rental apartment vacancy rate registered another notable hike. After having gone up by 1.2 percentage points, to 2.4 per cent, in 2007, this rate continued to climb, reaching 2.8 per cent in 2008, and then increased further, to 3.9 per cent, in 2009. The rise in the vacancy rate in the Sherbrooke CMA this year resulted from a moderating demand and a growing supply.

An abundant supply of new units and a decline in demand contributed to the easing of the rental market in the Trois-Rivières CMA. In fact, the vacancy rate reached 2.7 per cent in October 2009, compared to 1.7 per cent a year earlier. The weaker job market and lower net migration accounted for the decrease in demand. The estimated change in the average rent for two-bedroom apartments attained 2.1 per cent.

The Saguenay CMA rental market stayed tight this year, as the vacancy rate reached 1.5 per cent in October 2009, compared to 1.6 per cent a year earlier. As was the case in several other major centres, market forces balanced out, as a small increase in rental housing supply came with a less significant rise in demand. The estimated change in the average rent for units contained in existing structures reached 3.4 per cent between the October 2008 and October 2009 surveys.

The results were again varied in midsize centres (with 10,000 to 49,999 inhabitants). The Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu market still remained stable, staying the tightest among those of the agglomerations in this category, as the vacancy rate there fell by 0.1 of a percentage point and reached 1.8 per cent. No notable changes were observed in Drummondville (+0.3 of a point) or Shawinigan (-0.1 of a point), either, but the rental markets in these two centres were relatively less tight (with vacancy rates of 5.3 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively). The only agglomerations of this size that saw significant changes in their vacancy rates were Saint-Hyacinthe (+2.2 points, to 3.4 per cent) and Granby (+2.3 points, to 4.0 per cent), where market conditions are now eased.

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

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   1. Private Apartment Vacancy Rates (%)
                               by Bedroom Type
                                Québec - CMAs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Bachelor         1 Bedroom          2 Bedroom
    Centre            -------------------------------------------------------
                        Oct-08   Oct-09   Oct-08   Oct-09    Oct-08   Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau
     CMA (Que. part)     2.9 c    3.2 d    1.9 b    2.2 b     1.8 a    2.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA         4.6 b    3.7 b    2.8 a    3.2 a     2.1 a    2.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA           1.6 b    1.6 c    0.9 a    0.9 a     0.4 a    0.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA         2.8 c    4.7 d    2.2 c    1.3 a     0.9 a    1.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA       4.9 b    4.0 b    2.8 a    4.3 a     2.5 a    3.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières
     CMA                 4.3 c    7.3 c    2.3 c    4.3 b     1.2 a    1.6 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs          4.3 b    3.6 b    2.6 a    2.9 a     1.8 a    1.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50,000-99,999       7.6 c    9.4 b    3.9 b    4.7 b     1.6 a    2.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10,000-49,999       3.7 a    5.5 a    2.9 a    3.6 a     1.8 a    2.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10,000+       4.4 a    3.9 b    2.6 a    3.0 a     1.8 a    2.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            3 Bedroom +           Total
    Centre            -------------------------------------------------------
                                          Oct-08   Oct-09    Oct-08   Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau
     CMA (Que. part)                       1.7 c    1.6 c     1.9 a    2.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                           1.2 a    1.7 b     2.4 a    2.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                             0.5 a    0.1 a     0.6 a    0.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA                           2.6 c    1.7 b     1.6 a    1.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA                         2.8 a    3.7 b     2.8 a    3.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières
     CMA                                   1.4 a    2.2 b     1.7 a    2.7 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs                            1.3 a    1.6 a     2.2 a    2.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50,000-99,999                         2.3 b    3.0 b     2.5 a    3.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10,000-49,999                         1.5 a    2.2 a     2.2 a    2.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10,000+                         1.4 a    1.8 a     2.2 a    2.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   2. Private Apartment Average Rents ($)
                               by Bedroom Type
                                Québec - CMAs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Bachelor         1 Bedroom          2 Bedroom
    Centre            -------------------------------------------------------
                        Oct-08   Oct-09   Oct-08   Oct-09    Oct-08   Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau
     CMA (Que. part)     492 a    511 a    572 a    590 a     677 a    690 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA         500 a    514 a    594 a    604 a     659 a    669 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA           452 a    472 a    558 a    582 a     653 a    676 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA         352 a    354 a    412 a    425 a     518 a    518 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA       368 a    379 a    437 a    442 a     543 a    553 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières
     CMA                 360 a    347 a    414 a    426 a     505 a    520 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs          489 a    502 a    576 a    587 a     646 a    658 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50,000-99,999       380 a    383 a    444 a    447 a     518 a    533 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10,000-49,999       362 a    368 a    413 a    423 a     494 a    511 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10,000+       479 a    492 a    562 a    573 a     628 a    640 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            3 Bedroom +           Total
    Centre            -------------------------------------------------------
                                          Oct-08   Oct-09    Oct-08   Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau
     CMA (Que. part)                       759 a    791 a     653 a    669 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                           799 a    812 a     640 a    650 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                             770 a    795 a     630 a    655 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA                           553 a    558 a     496 a    496 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA                         658 a    669 a     525 a    534 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières
     CMA                                   553 a    564 a     486 a    498 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs                            768 a    783 a     627 a    639 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50,000-99,999                         571 a    578 a     507 a    517 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10,000-49,999                         548 a    561 a     475 a    489 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10,000+                         734 a    748 a     610 a    623 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3. Number of Private Apartment Units Vacant and Universe in October 2009
                               by Bedroom Type
                                Québec - CMAs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Bachelor         1 Bedroom          2 Bedroom
    Centre            -------------------------------------------------------
                        Vacant    Total   Vacant    Total    Vacant    Total
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau
     CMA (Que. part)      31 d      975    113 b    5,260     256 a   10,827
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA       1,693 b   45,436  4,268 a  135,402   4,361 a  213,912
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA            70 c    4,315    176 a   20,234     157 a   36,949
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA          12 d      259     27 a    2,054      54 a    3,954
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA        89 b    2,216    321 a    7,525     631 a   16,367
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières
     CMA                  51 c      697    180 b    4,219     130 b    7,965
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs        1,946 b   53,897  5,085 a  174,694   5,589 a  289,973
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50,000-99,999       171 b    1,824    353 b    7,479     456 a   17,546
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10,000-49,999       171 a    3,128    414 a   11,453     600 a   24,278
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10,000+     2,288 b   58,848  5,852 a  193,625   6,645 a  331,797
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            3 Bedroom +           Total
    Centre            -------------------------------------------------------
                                          Vacant    Total    Vacant    Total
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau
     CMA (Que. part)                        41 c    2,589     441 a   19,651
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                           943 b   55,730  11,264 a  450,479
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                              15 a   10,370     419 a   71,867
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA                            27 b    1,588     120 a    7,855
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA                         207 b    5,514   1,247 a   31,621
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières
     CMA                                    74 b    3,395     435 a   16,276
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs                          1,307 a   79,186  13,926 a  597,749
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50,000-99,999                         221 b    7,491   1,201 a   34,340
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10,000-49,999                         174 a    7,863   1,360 a   46,721
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10,000+                       1,702 a   94,540  16,486 a  678,810
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4. Private Apartment Estimate of Percentage Change (%) of Average Rent(1)
                               by Bedroom Type
                                Québec - CMAs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Bachelor         1 Bedroom          2 Bedroom
                      -------------------------------------------------------
                        Oct-07   Oct-08   Oct-07   Oct-08    Oct-07   Oct-08
    Centre                to       to       to       to        to       to
                        Oct-08   Oct-09   Oct-08   Oct-09    Oct-08   Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau
     CMA (Que. part)     (xx)     3.7 c    1.0 d    2.7 b     0.8 d    2.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA         2.5 b    2.6 b    2.4 b    2.9 b     2.1 b    2.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA            ++      4.7 b    1.6 b    4.2 b     2.0 b    3.5 c
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA          ++       ++       ++      2.3 c     1.5 d    4.0 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA       2.2 c    3.1 c    4.2 c    2.4 b     2.0 b    2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières
     CMA                 3.6 d     ++      1.6 c    3.3 c     3.0 b    2.1 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs          2.3 b    2.9 a    2.3 b    3.0 b     2.1 a    2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50,000-99,999       (xx)     3.3 c    2.2 b    4.0 c     2.2 b    3.8 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10,000-49,999       2.2 b    3.9 c    2.1 a    3.3 a     2.4 a    2.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10,000+       2.3 b    2.9 a    2.3 a    3.1 b     2.1 a    2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            3 Bedroom +           Total
                      -------------------------------------------------------
                                          Oct-07   Oct-08    Oct-07   Oct-08
    Centre                                  to       to        to       to
                                          Oct-08   Oct-09    Oct-08   Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau
     CMA (Que. part)                        ++      2.1 a     1.0 a    2.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                           3.0 c    3.2 d     2.1 b    2.7 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                             2.1 c    3.5 b     1.7 b    3.7 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA                            ++      3.9 b     1.5 a    3.4 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA                         1.5 c    2.0 c     2.1 b    2.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières
     CMA                                   2.8 b    1.4 a     3.0 b    2.1 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs                            2.5 c    3.0 c     2.0 a    2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50,000-99,999                         3.2 c    2.9 b     2.6 a    3.6 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10,000-49,999                         2.3 a    2.2 a     2.4 a    2.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10,000+                         2.6 b    3.0 b     2.1 a    2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) 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.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     5. Rental Condominium Apartments and Private Apartments in the RMS(1)
                              Vacancy Rates (%)
                            Québec - October 2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Rental Condominium        Apartments in
        Condo Sub Area                Apartments              the RMS(1)
                                ---------------------------------------------
                                  Oct-08      Oct-09      Oct-08      Oct-09
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                   3.2 b       2.7 a       2.4 a       2.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                     1.3 a       1.6 a       0.6 a       0.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Apartments surveyed in the Rental Market Survey (RMS) include only
        those units in purpose built rental buildings with at least three
        rental units.


     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
    

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Province: Kevin Hughes, Regional Economist (province of Quebec), (514) 283-4488; Montréal: Bertrand Recher, Senior Market Analyst, (514) 496-2587; Sherbrooke (Estrie): Francis Cortellino, Senior Market Analyst, (514) 283-8391; Québec: Élisabeth Koulouris, Senior Market Analyst, (418) 649-8098; Trois-Rivières (Mauricie): Marie-Élaine Denis, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8100; Gatineau (Outaouais, Abitibi): Patrice Tardif, Senior Market Analyst, (514) 283-2097; Saguenay: Sébastien Paquet-Poirier, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8102


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