Apartment vacancies are up in St. John’s and Newfoundland — but so are rents.
According to the Fall 2013 report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) , released recently, the apartment vacancy rate was 2.7 per cent in October, up from 2.2 per cent in October 2012.
In St. John’s, the vacancy rate was 3.2 per cent in October, compared with 2.8 per cent the year before.
The average two-bedroom rent in Newfoundland was $784, up from $725 in October 2012. The report contains no Labrador information, as it surveyed only centres with a population of more than 10,000.
Corner Brook posted a vacancy rate of zero per cent, down from one per cent the year before, while Gander’s rose from 0.5 per cent in 2012 to 1.2 this year. Grand Falls-Windsor saw its rate double from 1.1 per cent last year to 2.2 per cent this year. Figures weren’t available for Bay Roberts, with the data from CMHC not considered statistically reliable.
Two-bedroom rental rates were highest in St. John’s, at $864 per month, up from $798 last year, up 8.3 per cent. Corner Brook rents leapt 15.7 per cent, from $610 in October 2012 to $706 this year. Grand Falls-Windsor went from $659 to $683 (3.6 per cent), Gander went from $596 to $638 (seven per cent), and Bay Roberts was up 5.3 per cent, from $563 to $593.
The report says income growth helped drive up home ownership despite high home prices, thereby increasing rental vacancy.
Corner Brook’s “well diversified economy paired with strengths in the health, education and tourism sectors remained supportive of demand for rental units.”