Edmonton remains a renter’s market with vacancy rate up to 7.1%

File: Rental sign in Edmonton. Global News

Edmonton’s rental vacancy rate has hit 7.1 per cent, a nearly three per cent increase from this time last year when the vacancy rate was 4.2 per cent.

Job losses, lower migration and increased construction of rental units are all cited as reasons why the vacancy rate continues to go up, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s October 2016 rental market report.

The overall average rent has decreased by 3.6 per cent over the past year to $1,113, and the average rent for a two-bedroom unit in Edmonton is $1,229.

“Elevated construction of rental units has increased the supply of rental apartments and driven the vacancy rate higher,” Christina Butchart, a market analyst with the CMHC, said in a media release Monday.

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READ MORE: Saskatoon leads country in apartment vacancy rate: CMHC

While the vacancy rate is up, the CMHC said demand for apartment units is also on the rise, although the pace of the growth has slowed since its peak in 2014.

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“This can likely be attributed to fewer households moving into homeownership given the increased economic uncertainty in the region,” the CMHC said.

READ MORE: Edmonton economy takes a hit in third quarter of 2016

The average apartment vacancy rate in Canada’s 34 largest municipalities sits at 3.4 per cent.

The highest rental housing vacancy rates in Canada, as of October 2016, are as follows:

  • Saskatoon – 10.3 per cent
  • St. John’s – 7.9 per cent
  • Edmonton – 7.1 per cent
  • Calgary – 7.0 per cent
  • Saguenay – 7.0 per cent

The lowest rental housing vacancy rates in Canada are:

  • Victoria – 0.5 per cent
  • Abbotsford-Mission – 0.5 per cent
  • Kelowna – 0.6 per cent
  • Vancouver – 0.7 per cent

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