Canada’s Rental Vacancy Rate Remains Unchanged

OTTAWA, June 11, 2014 — According to the spring Rental Market Survey1 released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the average vacancy rate for primary purpose-built apartments in Canada’s 35 major centres2 was 2.7 per cent in April 2014, unchanged from April 2013.

“The stability of the national vacancy rate is due to supply and demand factors,” said Bruno Duhamel, Manager of Economic and Housing Analysis. “Demand for rental housing continues to be supported by population gains from net migration and stable employment levels for young workers aged 20 to 24”.

The results of CMHC’s spring survey also revealed that major centres with the lowest vacancy rates in April 2014 were Edmonton and Calgary (1.4 per cent each) and Kelowna (1.5 per cent). The major centres with the highest vacancy rates were Moncton (10.7 per cent), Saint John (10.0 per cent), and Charlottetown (8.7 per cent).

The Canadian average two-bedroom rent in new and existing structures was $930 in April 2014. With respect to the census metropolitan areas, the highest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments were in Vancouver ($1,274), Calgary ($1,267), and Toronto ($1,241). The lowest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments were in Saguenay ($562), Trois-Rivières ($571) and Sherbrooke ($594).

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. 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 informed decisions.

1 CMHC’s Rental Market Survey is conducted twice a year in April and October, to provide vacancy, availability and rent information on privately initiated structures in all centres with populations of 10,000 and more across Canada. Reports are released in June and December. Note that there are differences between the fall and spring surveys. The spring survey covers apartment and row structures containing at least three rental units, and, unlike the fall survey, does not report information on: a) Smaller geographic zones within centres; b) Secondary rental market (rented condominium apartments, single detached, semi-detached, duplexes or accessory apartments).

2 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).

For further information contact:

Charles Sauriol
CMHC Media Relations
613-748-2799
csauriol@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca

To access CMHC’s 2014 reports on the rental market select from the links below:

1.0 Rental Market Indicators
  Privately Initiated Apartment Structures of Three Units and Over
  Provinces and Major Centres1
Centres Vacancy Rates (%) Availability Rates (%) Average Rent 2 Bedroom ($) (New and existing structures) Percentage Change of Average Rent Two Bedroom2 From Fixed Sample (Existing structures only)
Apr-13 Apr-14 Apr-13 Apr-14 Apr-13 Apr-14 Apr-12 to Apr-13 Apr-13 to Apr-14
Newfoundland & Labrador    10,000+ 1.7 a 4.3 b 2.0 a 4.8 b 751 a 785 a 5.1 b 2.6 b
St. John's CMA 1.5 a 4.8 b 1.9 a 5.4 b 832 a 857 a 5.5 b 2.5 c
Prince Edward Island 10,000+ 7.8 b 8.5 a - 9.3 a 9.3 a - 808 a 803 a 1.0 a ++  
Charlottetown CA 8.7 b 8.7 a - 10.6 a 9.6 a - 831 a 814 a 1.2 a ++  
Nova Scotia 10,000+ 3.4 a 4.5 a 4.5 a 5.9 a 918 a 959 a 2.0 b 1.0 a
Halifax CMA 3.0 a 4.1 a 4.2 a 5.8 a 965 a 1,010 a 2.1 b 0.9 d
New Brunswick 10,000+ 7.6 a 9.1 a 8.6 a 10.0 a 716 a 725 a 1.5 a ++  
Moncton CMA 7.4 a 10.7 c 8.8 a 11.9 c 744 a 768 a 1.6 b ++  
Saint John CMA 10.4 c 10.0 b - 11.1 a 10.7 c - 703 a 687 a ++   ++  
Québec 10,000+ 3.1 b 2.9 a - 6.0 a 5.9 a - 691 a 709 a 2.1 b 2.2 b
Ottawa-Gatineau CMA (Que.    Part) 4.0 b 5.8 b 6.4 b 7.8 b 746 a 740 a **   ++  
Montréal CMA 3.0 a 2.7 a - 5.9 b 5.2 b - 719 a 742 a 1.9 c 2.3 c
Québec CMA 2.2 b 1.8 a - 6.1 b 7.5 b 763 a 766 a **   1.5 c
Saguenay CMA 2.9 a 4.1 c 6.6 b 6.2 b - 560 a 562 a **   2.2 c
Sherbrooke CMA 4.6 b 4.7 b - 7.0 b 8.3 a 586 a 594 a 2.2 c 2.5 c
Trois-Rivières CMA 3.9 b 3.4 b - 6.1 b 8.4 b 562 a 571 a 4.1 c 1.5 c
Ontario 10,000+ 2.6 a 2.8 a 4.5 a 4.9 a 1,046 a 1,072 a 3.0 a 2.7 a
Barrie CMA 2.9 b 2.1 a 5.5 b 3.5 b 1,055 a 1,052 a 2.9 a 1.4 a
Brantford CMA 3.4 c 4.4 b - 3.8 b 6.6 b 816 a 831 a 2.2 c 2.4 b
Greater Sudbury/Grand Sudbury    CMA 2.9 a 5.0 b 4.6 b 6.6 b 920 a 940 a 2.4 c ++  
Guelph CMA 1.6 a 1.7 b - 2.8 a 3.7 b 942 a 967 a 3.3 a 3.4 a
Hamilton CMA 3.7 a 3.9 a - 5.7 a 6.2 a 922 a 943 a 3.3 b 2.8 a
Kingston CMA 2.4 a 3.4 b 5.3 a 5.8 a - 1,027 a 1,057 a 3.3 a 3.1 c
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo    CMA 3.4 b 3.6 b - 5.1 b 5.7 a - 936 a 960 a 3.9 a 2.9 a
London CMA 3.1 a 3.6 a 5.9 a 7.7 a 920 a 921 a 2.3 a 1.5 a
St. Catharines-Niagara CMA 3.5 b 3.8 b - 5.6 a 6.4 a 868 a 896 a 1.6 c 2.2 b
Oshawa CMA 1.6 a 1.6 a - 3.0 a 2.2 a 943 a 1,005 a 2.0 b 4.0 d
Ottawa-Gatineau CMA (Ont.    Part) 3.7 b 3.2 a 6.8 a 6.6 a - 1,130 a 1,136 a 2.3 c 1.3 a
Peterborough CMA 3.4 b 3.7 b - 5.6 b 6.5 b 910 a 941 a 1.8 b 1.7 b
Thunder Bay CMA 2.4 a 2.4 a - 3.7 b 4.1 a - 834 a 862 a 3.9 b **  
Toronto CMA 1.6 a 1.9 a 3.2 a 3.5 a 1,202 a 1,241 a 3.2 c 3.2 d
Windsor CMA 6.3 a 5.0 b 8.1 a 7.1 a 780 a 801 a 2.0 b 2.0 b
Manitoba    10,000+ 1.8 a 2.1 a - 2.6 a 3.3 a 912 a 940 a 3.5 b 3.2 c
Winnipeg CMA 1.9 a 2.0 a - 2.7 a 3.4 a 939 a 969 a 3.6 b 3.4 c
Saskatchewan 10,000+3 3.0 a 3.3 a 4.0 a 4.6 a 977 a 1,036 a 4.1 a 4.3 a
Regina CMA 1.9 a 2.5 a 2.7 a 3.4 a 1,001 a 1,053 a 4.7 a 3.2 b
Saskatoon CMA 3.3 a 3.0 a 4.9 a 5.0 a - 1,020 a 1,075 a 3.7 b 4.4 a
Alberta 10,000+4 1.5 a 1.8 a - 2.5 a 2.6 a - 1,117 a 1,190 a 5.3 a 5.5 b
Calgary CMA 1.2 a 1.4 a - 1.7 b 2.7 a 1,202 a 1,267 a 7.2 a 5.0 b
Edmonton CMA 1.2 a 1.4 a - 2.3 a 2.0 a - 1,077 a 1,180 a 4.2 a 6.4 c
British Columbia 10,000+ 3.5 a 2.4 a 4.4 a 3.6 a 1,069 a 1,090 a 1.5 b 1.8 b
Abbotsford-Mission CMA 4.7 a 3.7 a 5.2 a 4.6 a 823 a 826 a 3.1 b 0.7 b
Kelowna CMA 4.8 a 1.5 a 5.8 a 3.1 a 947 a 964 a 1.1 a 0.5 a
Vancouver CMA 2.9 a 1.8 a 3.7 b 2.8 a 1,255 a 1,274 a 1.4 a 2.1 c
Victoria CMA 3.4 b 2.7 a 5.1 b 4.6 a - 1,076 a 1,084 a 1.2 a 1.0 d
Canada CMAs1 2.7 a 2.7 a - 4.9 a 5.0 a - 911 a 930 a 2.7 a 2.6 a
Canada 10,000+ 2.9 a 2.9 a - 5.0 a 5.1 a - 884 a 904 a 2.7 a 2.5 a

1 Major centres refer to Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA), except for Charlottetown.
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.
3 Includes both Alberta and Saskatchewan portions of Lloydminster CA.
4 Does not include Alberta portion of Lloydminster CA. For Lloydminster CA data, refer to Saskatchewan Highlights report.

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)

** Data suppressed to protect confidentiality or data 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 the universe for this category n/s: No units exist in the sample for this category n/a: Not applicable

↑ indicates the year-over-year change is a statistically significant increase,
↓ indicates the change is a statistically significant decrease, while – indicates that the change is not statistically significant.

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