Metro Vancouver vacancy is up and so is rent, says analyst

Sean Holden/ November 28, 2018

Canada’s overall vacancy rate declined for the second year in a row to reach 2.4% (3.0% in 2017), according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Vacancy has gone up in Metro Vancouver, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, however, so has rent.

Principal Market Analyst for Vancouver, Eric Bond, stated vacancies in Metro Vancouver has gone up by 0.1 per cent.

He added that average rent was raised by 6.2 per cent, making the typical rent for a single bedroom apartment $1,307.

BC holds the hill with the highest rent increases in the country.

“We have a stronger economy here, we have low unemployment, we have the high cost of entry level home ownership and all those factors are contributing to rental demand.” – Eric Bond, Principal Market Analyst of Vancouver

The survey shows new supply will be coming in for Metro Vancouver with 8,000 new units on their way.

The added supply may assist in creating a more dense Metro Vancouver, stated Bond. He said it’s welcome news with condos becoming more and more occupied with average rental prices roughly hitting $1,964.

In the 2016 census, data stated that one third of Vancouverites put 30 per cent of their income towards rent.

Bond said more rentals need to reflect the diversity of incomes between British Columbians.

“It is a challenge, no question,” he said.

“It’s one that all three levels of government are certainly keen to address. Part of that is increasing diversity of rental stocks that are offered and expanding it as well so that there are more choices and ultimately more competition among rental buildings for tenants.”

Demand in BC has lead to a rise in average rents. According to Bond, though rates have slowly climbed up, vacancy has historically been low for Metro Vancouver for a number of years.

“Vacancy rates are still very low, we’re talking about one per cent,” he said. ” So we do still see rents increasing faster then the rate of inflation.”

The consistent rate has made for turnover of properties more volatile as well.

Bond stated that tenants that move out of a long term rental can create a jump in monthly costs of the same unit, as the price is raised to reflect market values.

The survey is conducted annually by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

With files from Daniel Mountain