Students on the hunt for housing this fall might have a little easier time finding an apartment than before.
“The past couple of years we’ve seen vacancy rates a little higher than they have been over the past four or five years,” said Travis Archibald, senior market analyst for the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “Even though they’ve gone up, they’re still quite low compared to other major centres across the country. There’s still strong demand for rental accommodation in Victoria.”
Total apartment vacancy rose 0.1 per cent from 1.4 to 1.5 between the fall of 2009 and 2010. The average across 35 major centres in Canada last year was 2.6 per cent.
“When prices adjusted and mortgage rates were so low, we saw a lot of people make the move from renting to purchasing, so that freed up some of the rental stock,” Archibald added.
According to the most recent numbers from a spring 2011 survey, rents have risen slightly – up 1.2 per cent from April 2010 to 2011, when the provincial average rose 1.5 per cent. The average cost of one and two bedroom apartments in Greater Victoria are $796 and $1,024, respectively.
The CMHC survey looks at purpose-built rental stock, not privately rented suites.