Metro Vacancy Rate Headed Lower in 2007

    ST. JOHN'S, Dec. 13 /CNW/ - As expected, the vacancy rate within the
St. John's region headed lower in 2007. This marks the first decline in the
vacancy rate since 2003 and largely reflects the impact of a decrease in the
homeownership rate among first-time buyers, increased economic activity and
healthier net-migration. According to the results of a rental market survey
released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), there were
approximately 99 vacancies out of 3,817 rental units enumerated in October.
This translated into an overall vacancy rate of 2.6 per cent, versus
5.1 per cent in 2006. The average monthly rent remained flat at $585.
    With historically high mortgage carrying costs, the move from renting to
homeownership has become less feasible than in prior years. "Affordability has
eroded in recent years and despite their ability to qualify for a mortgage,
renters may not necessarily be willing to take on the extra costs associated
with homeownership such as higher mortgage carrying costs, property taxes and
maintenance," said Chris Janes, Senior Market Analyst with CMHC in
Newfoundland and Labrador. Increased economic activity within the St. John's
CMA has also had a positive impact on the rental market this year and will
continue to do so going forward. "Local employment peaked at historic highs
during 2007, while unemployment reached historic lows, both of which were very
positive for the region's rental market," added Janes.
    Provincially, vacancy rates in percentage terms were 0.6 in Corner Brook
CA (Census Agglomerate), 1.5 in Gander CA, 0.7 in Grand Falls-Windsor CA and
1.2 in Labrador CA. In total, there were 117 vacant units out of
5,603 surveyed.

    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.

    (Ce document existe également en français.)

For further information:

For further information: Chris Janes, Senior Market Analyst - NL, (709)

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