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Rental apartment vacancy rate holds steady in Calgary

The national vacancy rate for rental apartment units declined in 2019 for a third consecutive year to 2.2 percent, its lowest level for all bedroom types since 2002, says the Rental Market survey from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). The report is issued annually, measuring vacancy rates based on October figures.

“The national vacancy rate for purpose-built rental apartments declined for a third consecutive year in 2019, as strong rental demand continued to outpace growth in supply,” says Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Low vacancy rates in major centres underscore the need for increased rental supply to ensure access to affordable housing.”

The rental vacancy rate in the Calgary census metropolitan area (CMA) was 3.9 percent, unchanged from the year before, says Heather Boyer, CMHC market analyst in Calgary.

“The vacancy rate was unchanged in Calgary as additions to the rental universe were offset by strong rental demand,” says Boyer. “Between the third quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019, there were 1,464 newly completed apartment rental units, an increase of roughly 75 percent compared to the same time period last year.”

There are slightly more than 40,000 rental-specific apartments in the CMA, while investor-owned condominium apartments add an additional 25,896 rental units to the market.

Calgary Highlights:

• In rental structures common to both the October 2018 and 2019 surveys, apartment rents increased by 1.7% this October compared to the previous year.

• The average monthly apartment rent was $1,181 in October 2019 compared to $1,149 in 2018. By size, the average bachelor rent was $899, one-bedroom $1,080, two-bedrooms $1,305, three or more bedrooms $1,255.

• The share of rental apartment condominiums increased to 37.6 percent of the condominium universe, contributing to overall rental supply.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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