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Saskatoon's apartment vacancy rate highest in Canada

29 November 2017

The only other surveyed markets to see their vacancy rate increase were all located north of Toronto.

Fewer apartments were available because of increased rental demand in oil-producing provinces along with improving employment among young adults, influx of immigrants and a slowdown in additional rental units.

That's compared with the average rate across Canada of $989 for a two-bedroom rental apartment.

In Vancouver, the vacancy rate rose slightly to 0.9 per cent, from 0.7 per cent a year earlier, suggesting somewhat looser - but still very tight - rental conditions.

The provincial apartment vacancy rate for October stood at 1.6 per cent.

At an average of $1,552 per month, Vancouver remained the most expensive area to to rent a two-bedroom apartment, with Toronto following at $1,404 per month.

Metropolitan Vancouver was at 0.9%, Toronto 1%, Montreal at 2.8%, Ottawa 1.7%, Edmonton 7% and St. John's 7.2%.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported Tuesday the vacancy rate for the primary rental market - apartments that are built to be rented, was 9.6 per cent in October 2017.

Still, that wasn't enough to keep rental rates from falling in many Prairie cities, including Calgary (down 1.6 per cent to an average rent of $1,128), Edmonton (down 1.3 per cent to $1,101) and Saskatoon (down 1.5 per cent to $999). They were lowest in Trois-Rivieres ($594). Turnover rates were above the national average in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and below the national average in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The average vacancy rate for condominium rentals declined to 1.6 per cent from 1.9 per cent a year earlier.

The Prairie provinces, still recovering from the oil price slump of recent years, clocked numerous country's highest vacancy rates. Rental rates stayed steady, with a two-bedroom apartment averaging $782.

Rental housing is getting harder to find in the Greater Toronto Area, although for those that already live here, that's not likely news. The lowest rents were recorded in London ($996), Québec ($1,052) and Gatineau ($1,061). Our weekly newsletter delivers the news and analysis you need on Canada's housing market.

Saskatoon's apartment vacancy rate highest in Canada