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Vacancies remain low as rents rise in B.C.

B.C. has second lowest provincial vacancy rate in Canada

B.C. continues to have some of the lowest rental vacancy rates in the country, according to figures released Wednesday by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The rental market report pegs the rate at 1.4 per cent, above only Prince Edward Island’s 0.3 per cent and below Ontario’s 1.8 per cent.

Both the Vancouver and Abbotsford-Mission census metropolitan areas have a vacancy rate of just one per cent.

Both cities are below Toronto at 1.1 per cent and Victoria at 1.2 per cent, but above Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Kingston, Ont., at 0.2 per cent and 0.6 per cent vacancy rates, respectively.

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The corporation said B.C.’s vacancy rate went up slightly from 1.3 per cent last year to 1.4 per cent this year, but remained well below the two-year average of two per cent.

About one-quarter of B.C. municipalities still have a vacancy rate of under one per cent, although the rate of construction for purpose-built rentals went up slightly.

B.C. also has the highest average rent of all Canada’s provinces at $1,387 for a two-bedroom apartment, compared with $1,266 in Toronto and $1,215 in Alberta.

That’s an increase of 6.3 per cent in rent costs across B.C. in 2018, compared to a 5.8-per-cent increase the year prior.

Average rent across Canada for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,025.


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