Canada’s rental vacancy rates last year lowest since 2002

Click to play video: 'Montreal vacancy rates hit 15-year low' Montreal vacancy rates hit 15-year low
WATCH: Vacancy rates for apartments in Montreal have hit lows that haven't been seen since the early 2000s. Tenants looking to find new places to live may be out of luck this year. As Tim Sargeant reports, an increase in demand is largely to blame – Jan 15, 2020

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says rental apartment vacancy rates last year hit their lowest level since 2002 after a third consecutive year of declines.

The federal housing agency says the national vacancy rate for purpose built apartments was at 2.2 per cent, down from 2.4 per cent in 2018 for all bedroom types. The vacancy rate in condo rentals was at one per cent, down from 1.4 per cent.

READ MORE: As Montreal booms, city’s reputation for affordable apartments takes a hit

Vancouver’s dedicated rental vacancy rate was 1.1 per cent, Toronto and Montreal were at 1.5 per cent, and Halifax was one per cent, while vacancy rates for condos were 0.3 per cent in Vancouver and 0.8 per cent in Toronto.

Prairie cities saw much higher vacancies for dedicated rentals, including Regina at 7.8 per cent, Calgary at 3.9 per cent, and Winnipeg at 3.1 per cent.

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READ MORE: Montreal to propose new rules to increase affordable housing

Nationally, average rents increased by 3.9 per cent for a two-bedroom rental apartment as availability tightened, the fastest pace of same-sample rent growth since 2001.

Vancouver had the highest rent for a two-bedroom apartment at $1,748 after a 4.9 per cent average increase, while for Toronto it was $1,562 after a 6.1 per cent climb. Rents were much higher in condo rentals, averaging $2,476 for a two-bedroom in Toronto, and $2,045 in Vancouver.

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