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Victoria’s rental apartment vacancy rate has eased slightly in the past year

Dec 13 2011

Greater Victoria’s rental apartment vacancy rate has eased slightly in the past year, moving to 2.1 per cent in October from 1.5 per cent the same month in 2010.

Even so, the capital region remains among the more expensive markets in the country.

The average rent for a two-bedroom unit is $1,045 per month, up from $1,024 year-over-year, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Tuesday.

Victoria joins Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Barrie as the only major centres with average monthly rents of $1,000 or more. Vancouver had the highest rate at $1,237.

B.C.’s apartment vacancy rate slid tightened to 2.4 per in October from the same month last year when it was 2.7 per cent. The average rent for a two -bedroom apartment for the province as a whole was $1,050, the highest among provinces, the agency said.

“Despite the lower apartment vacancy rate, the pace of rent increase slowed for rental units common to both the October 2010 survey and the October 2011 survey. The estimated increase in same sample apartment rents was 2.0 per cent in October 2011,” down from 2.3 per cent a year ago, CMHC said.

“Apartment vacancy rates were lower across all bedroom types, with larger apartment units reporting higher vacancy rates than smaller units. The movement of households from larger rental units to home ownership was likely one factor contributing to this trend. Demand for smaller rental units remained strong, reflecting improving labour market conditions and strong migration flows.”

Nationally, the vacancy rate decreased slightly to 2.2 per cent in October from 2.6 per cent 12 months earlier.