The rental apartment vacancy rate in the Calgary region has risen slightly in the past year, but remains very tight and it’s the most costly in the country.
The vacancy rate for the Calgary area was 1.4 per cent in October, up from one per cent from a year ago, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp’s fall rental market survey, released Tuesday.
“While elevated net migration has continued to support rental demand in Calgary, additions to the rental stock have resulted in a higher apartment vacancy rate,” said Felicia Mutheardy, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Calgary. “Despite the increase from 2013, the vacancy rate remained low by historical standards, resulting in continued upward pressure on rents.”
Based on a sample of common properties in the 2013 and 2014 surveys, the average rental rate for a two-bedroom apartment rose 5.9 per cent in Calgary. One-bedroom units rose 7.1 per cent, while three-plus-bedroom units were up 5.6 per cent, said the report.
In the Calgary area, the average two-bedroom apartment rent in new and existing structures was $1,322 per month in October. That is the highest in the country followed by Vancouver at $1,311 and Toronto at $1,251.
The highest average two-bedroom rents in Calgary remained in the Downtown and Beltline zones at $1,459 and $1,441, respectively.
The rental condominium vacancy rate was 1.1 per cent in October, compared to one per cent in 2013.
Bob Dhillon, chief executive and founder of Calgary-based Mainstreet Equity Corp., which last week announced its 16th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for net operating income and funds from operation, said demand for apartment rentals remains very strong in the city.
” I don’t know if it correlates to the warmer December but usually rental season slows down. It generally does. But compared to last year it’s still very active,” he said.