BUSINESS
11/28/2018 11:02 EST | Updated 11/28/2018 11:04 EST

Rental Housing Market Grows Tighter As Demand Outstrips Supply, CMHC Says

Just 2.4 out of every 100 apartments in Canada were available for rent this year.

krblokhin via Getty Images
A modern apartment complex is pictured in Montreal. Canada's overall vacancy rate dropped for a second year in a row, as demand for rental housing grew at a faster pace than supply, according to the Canada Mortgage Housing Corp.

OTTAWA — Canada's overall vacancy rate dropped for a second year in a row, as demand for rental housing grew at a faster pace than supply, according to the Canada Mortgage Housing Corp.

In its annual rental market survey, the housing agency says in 2018, the vacancy rate across the country was 2.4 per cent, down from three per cent in 2017.

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"Over the past year, increases in international migration and youth employment, along with population aging, caused demand for rental housing to rise," CMHC said in its report. "This growth outpaced growth in supply nationally."

CMHC says demand for rental housing grew at a faster pace than supply. It found that the number of occupied units climbed by 2.5 per cent in October 2018, compared with an increase of 1.9 per cent in the same month a year earlier.

Earlier on HuffPost Canada:

Ontario, B.C. and Manitoba all saw an increase in its vacancy rates, while Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Atlantic provinces all saw declines.

Vacancy rates for Toronto and Vancouver were stable, but at very low levels of 1.1 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
Saskatoon and Regina have Canada's highest apartment vacancy rates, while Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria have the lowest.

The report, which looked at purpose-built rental units and condo apartments available for rent, found the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment jumped by 3.5 per cent from October 2017 to October 2018. This increase was higher than the inflation rate during this period.

B.C. saw the largest climb in rent, with Kelowna recording an 9.4 per increase. Saskatchewan, the province with the highest vacancy rates, saw rents go down slightly, by 0.5 per cent in Regina.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Victoria are seeing the fastest rent increases, according to data from CMHC.

In October, Vancouver had the highest average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment at $1,649, followed by Toronto at $1,467 and Calgary at $1,272.

Trois-Rivieres, Que., had the lowest average monthly rent in October at $601, followed by Saguenay, Que., at $608 and Sherbrooke, Que., at $639.

— With a file from HuffPost Canada