CALGARY, June 22, 2017 — According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Northern Housing Report released today, stronger economic conditions are expected to improve housing demand in Yellowknife and Whitehorse. In Iqaluit, where the housing market is primarily non-market, additional social housing units are expected to start construction in 2018.
- Whitehorse’s housing market saw growth across all sectors in 2016. Stronger demand edged the average apartment vacancy rate down while new units were added to the rental inventory. Housing starts rebounded in 2016, approaching the 5 year average; however, due to limited land availability at the start of 2017, new home construction activities are expected to decrease slightly in 2017. Continued resale market growth is expected throughout 2017, as land availability limits the number of new homes.
- Activity in the resale market in Yellowknife was strong in 2016. Despite increased sales compared to 2015, the average transfer price declined as a higher proportion of apartments and mobile homes were sold. Sales are expected to be strong again this year while average prices could still trend lower as sales continue to shift to lower priced homes. Average two bedroom rents also declined in 2016 but are expect to stabilize in 2017. In the new home market, housing construction was strong, particularly in the single-family segment which in 2016 saw 41 per cent more starts compared to the previous year.
- Land availability and the high cost to provide housing have resulted in a lack of housing options in Iqaluit. Nunavut’s capital requires at least 160 additional social units to meet housing needs. Activity in the resale and private rental markets have declined with lower mining support activities.
- While economic factors contribute to housing activity, access to housing in the Territories continues to face challenges that are not typically present in other housing markets in Canada. These challenges include the availability of land and government resources along with the logistics of transporting materials to the North. As such, this has contributed to higher costs, for both social and market housing, and reduced affordability overall.
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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 information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.
“Housing in Iqaluit is among the most expensive in Canada. Two-thirds of the Nunavut population cannot secure market housing without some sort of assistance from the government or their employer.”
“Buyers continue to purchase more condo units in Yellowknife while mobile home units have also become more popular. These two compositional effects have led to a decline in overall average prices even as sales experienced strong growth.”
“As of March 2017, 91 rental apartment and row units were under construction in Whitehorse. This represents the highest level of rental construction observed in over 10 years and will result in a substantial increase to the rental stock once these units are completed.”
Information on this release
Senior Public Affairs Advisor