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Calgary rental housing market rebounds from recession’s lows

The rental housing market in the Calgary census metropolitan area (CMA) looked very different in October 2018 than it did in October 2017, showing a year-over-year decline in overall vacancy rates in the primary rental market from 6.3 percent to 3.9 percent, according to the annual Rental Market Report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).

The decline comes despite an increase in the rental supply and can be attributed for the most part to new arrivals to the CMA.

“A resurgence of migration, particularly from interprovincial sources, has increased the demand for rental units, resulting in significantly lower vacancy rates and rising rents in Calgary,” says James Cuddy, senior analyst, economics at CMHC. “This is the second consecutive year of declining vacancy rates, representing a significant tightening of the rental market. Supply in the primary rental market continued to post strong gains in 2018, growing by 3.7 percent.”

In the report, Cuddy says the purpose-built rental apartment universe increased by 1,407 units from 38,160 in October 2017 to 39,567 in October 2018, however, “demand outpaced supply whereby 2,268 additional units were occupied in October 2018 compared to last year.”

From January to October, 8,200 jobs were added to the Calgary CMA, an increase of one percent from the same period in 2017, says Cuddy.

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