Vacancy rate for purpose-built rentals hits lowest level since 2001: CMHC

Vacancy rate even lower

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says last year's surging rental market left the country with the lowest vacancy rate for purpose-built rentals since 2001.

The federal housing agency says the vacancy rate for such properties sat at 1.9 per cent last year, down from 3.8 per cent a year earlier.

The fall reflects a widespread tightening CMHC saw in the rental market as immigration ticked upward and higher mortgage rates made it harder for renters to purchase properties.

The tightening was stark in Vancouver, where the vacancy rate edged down from 1.2 per cent in 2021 to 0.9 per cent last year, and Toronto, which dropped from 4.4 per cent to 1.7 per cent.

Montreal's rental market reached 2.3 per cent from 3.7 per cent a year earlier and Calgary's moved from 5.1 per cent to 2.7 per cent, the lowest level seen since 2014.

CMHC says such plunging vacancy rates weighed on the average rent for a two-bedroom purpose-built rental, which climbed 5.6 per cent to $1,258, and the average two-bedroom rental condo rent, which jumped nine per cent to $1,930.

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