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It keeps getting easier to find an apartment in P.E.I. as the vacancy rate in the cities climbed to 7.1 per cent in October, according to the latest report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Jason Beaton, a market analyst with CMHC, said the main reason for the increase was because there was a lot of construction of rental properties.
“What happened the last four years is they really got ahead of supply,” he said.
The report showed the vacancy rate in Charlottetown rose from 5.7 per cent in October 2012 to 7.9 per cent in 2013.
In Summerside, the vacancy rate increased from one per cent in October 2012 to 2.7 per cent this year.
CMHC’s report also attributed some of the increase to falling international immigration.
The units with the highest vacancy rates were three bedroom apartments in Charlottetown, of which 9.6 per cent were empty in October while in Summerside 7.8 per cent of two bedroom apartments were vacant.
Beaton said Charlottetown’s developers have gotten ahead of the need for apartment rentals, although construction did slow down this year.
“We’re expecting that trend to continue through into 2014 and then hopefully see vacancy rates come down in 2014-2015.”
While vacancy rates have increased, it hasn’t led to a drop in rent.
In Charlottetown the average monthly rent increased from $758 last year to $763 in October 2013.
For Summerside, the October 2012 average rent was $687, which went up to $706 this year.
Beaton said it was unlikely there will be a drop in the average rent because newer units tend to rent for higher amounts.
“What we expect to see is basically rent will stay flat for the next two years.”