Brent Granby: Affordability still an issue in Vancouver, according to CMHC rental-housing report
It’s not surprising that there was little media coverage of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's spring rental report, given that it contained pages of tables and no concise summary of the results.
It's pretty dry reading and lots of page scrolling to find relevant information for Vancouver.
However, in a media release by CMHC announcing the report, the following summary states:
“An overall improving job market over the last year, in conjunction with new migrants coming to Canada’s major centres, are factors that are supporting rental demand in Canada,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. “Immigrants, as well as young workers, usually tend to rent first and then move to homeownership.”
The report indicates that Vancouver is continuing with the trend of low vacancy rates and increasing rental costs to tenants. In 2012, vacancy rates drop two-tenths of a percentage point —to 2.6 percent from 2.8 percent—compared with 2011.
Average rents went up as well, with studio apartments increasing from $839 to $855, one-bedrooms increasing from $934 to $965, two-bedrooms increasing from from $1,288 to $1,219, and three bedrooms having a minimal rise in rent of a buck from $1406 to $1407.
Vancouver has the ignoble distinction of being the most expensive city to rent a two- bedroom apartment in Canada.
If you are looking for a deal on rent try Trois-Rivières, where a two-bedroom goes for $543, or Saguenay at $553. Or consider the lovely Eastern Townships in Sherbrook at $581.
Brent Granby is a former COPE candidate for park board. This commentary originally appeared on his blog.