14 Dec 2011

Rental vacancy rate drops to 2.2 percent

Real estate is still a hot commodity in Canada, as the rental vacancy rate diminished throughout the country in October, a new report indicates.

According to the fall Rental Market Survey released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the average rental apartment vacancy rate in Canada dropped to 2.2 percent in October, down from 2.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Center, said the decline largely resulted from higher levels of employment among young adults, which necessarily increasing rental housing demand.

"Demand for rental condominium apartments remained strong, with the vacancy rate for such units falling in most of Canada’s largest urban centers, including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver," said Laberge.

As previous polls have indicated, more Canadians are opting for smaller units, particularly those who are nearing or have reached retirement. To accommodate belongings that don't fit in their smaller dwelling place, Torontonians may need to rent out a storage unit.

With demand for apartments and condominiums on the increase, rental rates have risen. CMHC says the average rent for a two-bedroom unit in October was $883, a moderate rise from $860 a year earlier.

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