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Continued sluggishness in economy benefiting Calgary’s rental market, study suggests

Renters beware. Finding a new rental in the city is becoming more challenging, and that’s largely due to the ongoing struggles of the provincial economy.

A recent quarterly report by Urban Analytics that tracks the new multi-family market in the city for both rentals and condominiums points to tightening rental conditions in Calgary.

“Right now we’re seeing 95 per cent occupancy in Calgary’s new, purpose-built rental market,” says Kimberly Poffenroth, business development manager with Urban Analytics.

From the renter’s perspective that’s a five per cent vacancy rate among purpose-built, multi-family rentals constructed in the past six years.

The vacancy rate, however, is flat from the second quarter that ended in June 30, but it’s higher than the first quarter of 2018 and the last quarter of 2017. Despite the tightening conditions, rental rates — what tenants pay — fell by 2.1 per cent in the third quarter (July 1 to Sept. 30) from the previous quarter. In dollar terms, the average square foot rent fell from $1.96 in the second quarter to $1.92 in Q3. By contrast, the average price in the last quarter of 2017 was $1.82 per square foot. Rates remained highest in the city centre where supply is short while on the edges of the city, renters have more choice, especially when it comes to wood-frame rentals and townhomes. Consequently rents in these areas tend to be lower.

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