Back to Blog
Real Estate Trends

Vancouver Real Estate Investors Sitting Pretty as Rental Vacancies Drop: CMHC

By Joannah Connolly Jun 16, 2015

As real estate prices continue to hit record highs, increasing pressure is being put on the rental market, pushing vacancies ever lower, according to a new Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation report.

Apartment rental vacancies in Victoria and Vancouver are second and third lowest in the country, at 1.2 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively, according to the spring edition of the biannual market report.

The CMHC said the drop in Vancouver stems from a decline in the vacancy rate for one-bedroom units, which dropped to 1.2 per cent from 1.7 per cent a year ago, while other unit types remained relatively unchanged.

Across British Columbia the overall rental vacancy rate declined to 1.8 per cent in April 2015 from 2.4 per cent the previous April.

Don Campbell, senior analyst at Real Estate Investment Network and one of Canada’s leading real estate investment authors, identified several causal factors to

“Affordability for purchase in Vancouver and Victoria has slipped further, despite the lower mortgage interest rates‎ and this is keeping people in rental market longer than traditionally,” said Campbell.

“Population growth continues to remain relatively strong and, under a traditional economic model, new migrants to an area rent for the first two and a half years before deciding whether to stay and then whether to buy.”

He added, “With Gen X and Millennials, there is not as high of a priority placed on ownership, so renting is not as stigmatized as it previously was.”

The average rental price for all unit types in Vancouver increased 3.3 per cent year over year to $1,121 per month, which is the highest in BC, followed by Fort St John at $1,083.

Other areas including Nanaimo and Campbell River also reported drops in vacancy rates, with Kamloops and Abbotsford-Mission remaining flat year over year.

However, rental vacancy rates increased in some Interior and Northern BC regions, including Kelowna, Fort St John and Prince George, where they stand at 5.3 per cent compared with 4.2 per cent last April.

To read the full report, click here.

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.
Never Miss a Story
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the week's top real estate news delivered to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time