Canada’s Purpose-Built Rental Vacancy Rate Increases

OTTAWA, November 2, 2015 — Canada’s 35 larger centres saw the average vacancy rate in privately initiated purpose-built rental apartments increase to 3.3 per cent in October 2015, from 2.8 per cent in October 2014, according to preliminary data from the fall Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“The rise in the national vacancy rate was due to lower net migration in regions most affected by low oil prices as well as an increase in the supply of purpose-built rental apartment units,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC.

Overall, the average rent for two-bedroom apartments in existing structures increased 2.4 per cent between October 2014 and October 2015. In October 2015, the average rent for a two bedroom apartment in new and existing structures was $960.

The Rental Market Survey also covers condominium apartments offered for rent in 16 large urban centres, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. In this particular segment of the secondary rental market, rental condominium vacancy rates ranged from a high of 5.3 per cent in Edmonton, to a low of 0.4 per cent in Hamilton. Average monthly rents for two-bedroom condominium apartments were highest in Toronto ($1,754) and lowest in Québec ($1,065).

Consistent with results from previous surveys, condominium vacancy rates were found to be lower than vacancy rates for purpose-built rental apartment units in most centres, while all centres registered higher average rents for rental condominium apartments. Condominiums are typically newer and tend to offer a greater range of amenities than purpose-built rental apartments.  

CMHC is releasing preliminary data in order to provide more timely information. The final 2015 Rental Market Survey report and data will be released on December 16, 2015.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

For more information, call 1-800-668-2642. CMHC Market Analysis standard reports are also available free for download at CMHC Housing Market Information.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca.

For further information contact:

Karine LeBlanc
CMHC Media Relations
613-740-5413
kjleblan@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Note: A table of vacancy rates and rents is attached.

Rental Market Indicators
Privately Initiated Apartment Structures of Three Units and Over
Provinces and Major Centres1
Centres Vacancy Rates (%) Average Rent 2 Bedroom ($)
(New and existing structures)
  Percentage Change of Average Rent Two Bedroom (2) From Fixed Sample (Existing structures only)
Oct-14 Oct-15 Oct-14 Oct-15   Oct-13 to Oct-14 Oct-14 to Oct-15
Newfoundland and Labrador 10,000+ 4.1 a 4.0 a - 812 a 832 a   3.1 b 1.0 a
St. John's CMA 4.6 a 4.5 a - 888 a 922 a   3.2 b 1.1 a
Prince Edward Island 10,000+ 5.4 a 3.9 b 819 a 820 a   0.7 a ++  
Charlottetown CA 5.9 a 3.9 b 836 a 837 a   0.3 b ++  
Nova Scotia 10,000+ 4.1 a 3.9 a - 955 a 977 a   1.7 a 1.6 a
Halifax CMA 3.8 a 3.5 a 1,005 a 1,032 a   1.8 b 1.6 a
New Brunswick 10,000+ 8.0 a 7.4 a 735 a 744 a   1.2 a 1.1 a
Moncton CMA 8.7 a 7.5 a 762 a 761 a   1.2 a ++  
Saint John CMA 9.0 a 8.3 a - 714 a 718 a   0.7 b 1.5 c
Quebec 10,000+ 3.7 a 4.3 a 711 a 727 a   2.0 a 1.6 a
Ottawa – Gatineau CMA (Que. Part) 6.5 b 6.1 b - 750 a 747 a   2.1 c 0.9 d
Montréal CMA 3.4 a 4.0 a 739 a 757 a   2.2 a 1.7 a
Québec CMA 3.1 a 3.9 a 775 a 788 a   2.0 a 1.3 a
Saguenay CMA 4.2 b 7.2 b 595 a 598 a   2.1 c 1.0 d
Sherbrooke CMA 5.4 a 5.8 a - 604 a 608 a   1.7 b 1.3 a
Trois-Rivières CMA 5.3 b 6.2 a 568 a 581 a   1.8 c 1.1 a
Ontario 10,000+ 2.3 a 2.3 a 1,086 a 1,113 a   2.1 a 3.1 a
Barrie CMA 1.6 b 1.2 a 1,118 a 1,167 b   1.5 a 4.3 d
Brantford CMA 2.4 a 2.9 a - 855 a 875 a   1.8 c 3.5 c
Greater Sudbury/Grand Sudbury CMA 4.2 b 3.4 b 927 a 952 a   1.6 c 2.5 b
Guelph CMA 1.2 a 1.1 a - 988 a 1,013 a   3.0 a 3.0 b
Hamilton CMA 2.2 a 3.7 a 959 a 1,012 a   2.8 a 3.9 b
Kingston CMA 1.9 a 2.7 a 1,070 a 1,094 a   2.1 a 2.8 a
Kitchener – Cambridge – Waterloo CMA 2.3 a 2.1 a - 975 a 954 a   1.6 a 2.4 a
London CMA 2.9 a 2.6 a 943 a 990 a   1.0 a 2.1 a
St. Catharines – Niagara CMA 3.6 b 3.1 a - 892 a 908 a   1.6 a 3.2 b
Oshawa CMA 1.8 a 1.9 a - 1,010 a 1,010 a   2.8 b 1.9 c
Ottawa – Gatineau CMA (Ont. Part) 2.6 a 2.6 a - 1,132 a 1,172 a   ++   3.0 a
Peterborough CMA 2.9 a 3.8 b 952 a 964 a   1.4 a 1.5 b
Thunder Bay CMA 2.3 a 4.6 a 888 a 918 a   3.9 c 2.4 b
Toronto CMA 1.6 a 1.6 a - 1,251 a 1,274 a   2.6 a 3.5 a
Windsor CMA 4.3 a 3.9 a - 798 a 821 a   1.9 b 2.8 a
Manitoba 10,000+ 2.5 a 2.9 a 983 a 1,012 a   4.1 a 3.3 a
Winnipeg CMA 2.5 a 2.9 a 1,016 a 1,045 a   4.2 b 3.3 a
Saskatchewan 10,000+ (3) 4.1 a 6.8 a 1,056 a 1,055 a   4.7 a ++  
Regina CMA 3.0 a 5.3 a 1,079 a 1,095 a   3.0 a ++  
Saskatoon CMA 3.4 a 6.5 a 1,091 a 1,087 a   4.3 a 0.4 b
Alberta 10,000+ (4) 2.1 a 5.6 a 1,238 a 1,253 a   5.7 a 1.2 a
Calgary CMA 1.4 a 5.3 a 1,322 a 1,332 a   5.9 a ++  
Edmonton CMA 1.7 a 4.2 a 1,227 a 1,259 a   6.1 a 2.2 a
British Columbia 10,000+ 1.5 a 1.2 a 1,112 a 1,147 a   2.4 a 3.8 a
Abbotsford – Mission CMA 3.1 a 0.9 a 835 a 853 a   1.1 a 2.2 b
Kelowna CMA 1.0 a 0.3 a 980 a 990 a   1.6 b 3.9 c
Vancouver CMA 1.0 a 0.8 a 1,311 a 1,360 a   2.5 a 4.6 a
Victoria CMA 1.5 a 0.6 a 1,095 a 1,128 a   2.6 a 2.6 a
Canada CMAs (1) 2.8 a 3.3 a 941 a 960 a   2.5 a 2.4 a
Canada 10,000+ 3.0 a 3.5 a 915 a 934 a   2.4 a 2.3 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.

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.

4.2 Rental Condominium Apartments
  Vacancy Rates (%) and Average Rents ($) of Condominium Apartments in Rental
CentresVacancy Rates (%)Average 2 Bedroom Rent($)
Oct-14Oct-15Oct-14Oct-15
Ottawa-Gatineau CMA (Que. Part)n/a 4.0c n/a n/a  
Montréal CMA3.4b3.0b-1,149b1,140a-
Québec CMA3.2b4.0c-1,070b1,065b-
Hamilton CMAn/a 0.4b n/a n/a  
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo CMAn/a 2.5c n/a n/a  
London CMAn/a 2.8c n/a n/a  
Ottawa-Gatineau CMA (Ont. Part)1.7b2.6b1,430b1,330b-
Toronto CMA1.3a1.8a1,818a1,754b-
Winnipeg CMA2.6c**  1,151c1,169d-
Regina CMA1.2a4.6bn/a n/a  
Saskatoon CMA1.2a1.5c-n/a n/a  
Calgary CMA1.1a4.9c1,511b1,522d-
Edmonton CMA2.3b5.3d1,179b1,461c
Kelowna CMAn/a 2.1c n/a n/a  
Vancouver CMA0.7a0.9a-1,668b1,543b-
Victoria CMA1.8a0.6a1,289d1,278c-
Total1.6a2.3a1,554a1,487a-

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.

Canada

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