Vacancy Rate Declines in New Brunswick's Larger Urban Centres

    MONCTON, NB, June 5 /CNW/ - In April(1), the overall vacancy rate for
apartment units in New Brunswick's urban centres stood at 5.3 per cent, down
from 6.0 per cent in the spring of 2007 according to figures released today by
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
    "The vacancy rates in most of the province's urban centres were within
one percentage point of the provincial average" said Claude Gautreau, CMHC's
Senior Market Analyst for New Brunswick. In New Brunswick's three large urban
centres, the vacancy rate varied between a high of 5.8 per cent in Fredericton
and a low of 4.3 per cent in Saint John. The vacancy rate in Moncton was
similar to the overall provincial average at 5.5 per cent. "Stable demand for
housing due to in-migration, combined with a reduced rate of expansion of the
local rental universe in some centres, has led to declining vacancy rates"
continued Gautreau.
    In New Brunswick's smaller urban areas, the vacancy rates were higher
than the provincial average, ranging from 6.3 per cent in both Bathurst and
Campbellton to a high of 8.2 per cent in Edmundston. Conversely, the vacancy
rate in Miramichi was the lowest in the province at 2.9 per cent.
    Due to continued in-migration in Fredericton and Moncton, the average
two-bedroom rent in both centres experienced upward pressure and exceeded the
provincial average at $696 and $665, respectively. In contrast, with limited
in-migration, the average two-bedroom rent in Saint John was below the
provincial average at $604. Similarly, the average two-bedroom rent in the
province's smaller urban centres varied between $453 and $512.


    (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.


                      Vacancy(*)      Availability(xx)     Average Rents ($)
                         Rate               Rate           Two Bedroom Units
    Centre         Apr-07    Apr-08    Apr-07    Apr-08     Apr-07    Apr-08
    Moncton CMA       6,1       5,5       6,8       6,4        631       665
    Saint John CMA    5,7       4,3       6,7       4,9        568       604
    Bathurst CA       6,1       6,3       6,8       6,5        489       504
    Campbellton CA    7,2       6,3       8,7       6,7        506       505
    Edmundston CA     6,3       8,2       7,0       9,9        442       453
    Fredericton CA    6,8       5,8       6,8       5,9        693       696
    Miramichi CA      1,2       2,9       1,4       3,1        494       512
    New Brunswick
     10,000+          6,0       5,3       6,7       5,9        610       635

    (*)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.

    (xx)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

For further information:

For further information: Claude Gautreau, Senior Market Analyst - NB,
(506) 851-2742,

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