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High rental vacancy rate in Abbotsford

Abbotsford has among the highest rental vacancy rates of the country’s major centres.

The average rental apartment vacancy rate in Canada’s 35 major centres decreased slightly to 2.2 per cent in October 2011, from 2.6 per cent in October 2010, according to the fall Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

However, Abbotsford was found to be an exception to that trend. The survey reveals that the major centres with the highest vacancy rates were: Windsor (8.1 per cent), Abbotsford (6.7 per cent) and Saint John (5.9 per cent).

On a provincial basis, the highest vacancy rate was in New Brunswick (4.8 per cent).

“Modestly higher levels of employment among persons aged 15 to 24 likely increased household formation among young adults, thereby increasing rental housing demand,” said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC’s market analysis centre.

“This, combined with the supply of newly constructed rental apartments moving slightly lower, pushed Canada’s vacancy rate downward.

In October 2011, the major centres with the lowest vacancy rates were: Regina (0.6 per cent), Winnipeg, Kingston and Guelph (1.1 per cent), and St. John’s (1.3 per cent).

At the provincial level, Manitoba had the lowest vacancy rate at 1.0 per cent. Newfoundland and Labrador (1.3 per cent) and Saskatchewan (1.9 per cent) were the other provinces with vacancy rates below 2.0 per cent.

The Canadian average two-bedroom rent in new and existing structures was $883 in October 2011, compared with $860 in October 2010.

With respect to the Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), the highest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments  were: Vancouver ($1,237), Toronto ($1,149), Ottawa ($1,086), Calgary ($1,084), Victoria ($1,045), Edmonton ($1,034) and Barrie ($1,001). These are the only major centres with average rents at or above $1,000 per month. Provincially, the highest average monthly rents were in B.C. ($1,050), Alberta ($1,044) and Ontario ($1,002).

The lowest average monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments in new and existing structures were: Trois-Rivières ($547), Saguenay ($557) and Sherbrooke ($577). On a provincial basis, the lowest monthly rents were: Québec ($684), New Brunswick ($687) and Newfoundland and Labrador ($701).

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