Apartment vacancy rates drop, rents rise in Lower Mainland

Two bedroom rents average $1,311 in Metro Vancouver, foreign ownership estimated at 2.3 per cent (with chart)

A tightening vacancy rate points to fewer apartments available for rent in Metro Vancouver.

It’s getting tougher to find an apartment to rent in Metro Vancouver.

Rental vacancy rates fell to 1.0 per cent in October from 1.7 per cent a year earlier, according to the fall market survey by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

“Employment and population growth, together with higher post-secondary student enrolment, added to demand for rental housing,” said CMHC senior market analyst Robyn Adamache.

“Also the rising cost of home ownership may have encouraged some people to stay in rental housing rather than buy.”

The provincial vacancy rate fell from 2.4 per cent to 1.5 per cent, while the Abbotsford-Mission area vacancy rate edged down 0.1 to 3.1 per cent.

Adamache said the Abbotsford rate shows renters there have more options than those closer to Vancouver.

The survey found a two-bedroom apartment rented for an average of $1,311 per month in Metro Vancouver in October, up 2.5 per cent from a year earlier.

Two-bedroom rentals averaged less than $1,000 in three areas – Surrey, Langley and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, which had the lowest average rent at $886.

The priciest areas to rent a two-bedroom were West Vancouver at $2,031, UBC at $1,917 and Vancouver’s Downtown/West End at $1,849

The average two-bedroom rent in the Abbotsford region was $835, up 1.1 per cent.

The survey for the first time estimates the proportion of condominium apartments directly owned by foreigners who live outside Canada – 2.3 per cent in Metro Vancouver, rising to 5.8 per cent in parts of Vancouver.

Adamache said that rate includes all foreign-owned condo units, including those that are rented out, and also unrented units that are just held as an investment or holiday home.

But it does does not include foreign owners who buy property here through a Canadian holding company.

Foreign ownership of real estate in the Vancouver area has been a topic of extensive speculation, with concerns raised that some neighbourhoods have many unoccupied homes. One failed Vancouver mayoral candidate proposed charging an extra tax on absentee owners who don’t rent out their homes.

AVERAGE RENTS IN LOWER MAINLAND |Create infographics

Just Posted

Agassiz fire chief retiring after 28-year career

Wayne Dyer passing on role to deputy chief and long-time colleage Gerald Basten

Four chances to see Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra’s Messiah in the Valley

Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra brings Handels’ Messiah to Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Aldergrove

Lots of laughs at Bozzini’s holiday concert in Chilliwack

Double bill performance features rock n’ roll duo Kitty & the Rooster, cabaret musician Shirley Gnome

Photos: The Contenders rock the Blue Moose Coffee Shop Friday

Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard came together as (The) Contenders to play music… Continue reading

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Family calls for change after death of B.C. man at St. Paul’s Hospital

Hospital beds for patients with both medical and mental-health issues are ‘very limited’: coroner

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Most Read