Apartment Pickings Slim as Vacancy Rate Decreases

By Brian Schultz

Manitoba's apartment rental vacancy rate is 1 percent -- the lowest in the country. Winnipeg sits at 1.3 percent. (GAEBLER.COM)

It’s getting tougher to find an available apartment to rent in Canada, thanks to a drop in the overall vacancy rate.

Figures released Tuesday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) show a national dip of 2.2 percent in October 2011, from 2.6 percent a year earlier. The numbers are part of the fall Rental Market Survey.

“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, CMHC deputy chief economist in a release. “Demand for rental condominium apartments remained strong, with the vacancy rate for such units falling in most of Canada’s largest urban centres, including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.”

Regina had the lowest vacancy rate at 0.6 percent, followed by Winnipeg, Kingston and Guelph at 1.1 percent, and St. John’s at 1.3 percent. Provincially, Manitoba had the lowest rate at 1 percent, followed by Newfoundland and Labrador at 1.3 percent, and Saskatchewan at 1.9 percent.