Average rent in Greater Victoria sees biggest increase in 26 years: report
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, November 28, 2017 12:24PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 28, 2017 7:30PM PST
There's good and bad news for renters in one of the country's tightest markets: Greater Victoria's vacancy rate is slightly up – but average monthly rents have increased sharply.
New data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation shows that the capital city's overall vacancy rate has risen to 0.7 per cent.
That's up from 0.5 per cent, which was among the lowest vacancy rates in Canadian cities.
But the CMHC report says the average rent in Greater Victoria is now $1,072 – up 7.7 per cent from $994 in 2016.
It's the largest year-over-year increase since 1991, and CMHC says it mirrors accelerated prices in the home ownership market.
"Metro Victoria's rental market remains tight. Supply has not kept up with population growth and a shift away from homeownersip," senior market analyst Braden Batch said in a statement.
Meanwhile, purpose-built rental buildings have not kept pace with the number of renters moving to the region, the report says.
Between 2011 and 2016, Metro Victoria welcomed 9,340 new households, 80 per cent of whom were renters.
But the purpose-built rental market only expanded by 1,026 units in that same time period.
The report notes that 1,842 rental apartments are currently under construction in the city, which it calls "the most significant contribution to the purpose-built rental universe in decades."
While downtown Victoria neighbourhoods generally have the highest rents and lowest vacancy rates, the CMHC report says the West Shore now features one of the highest vacancy rates in the region at 1.3 per cent.
The report defines Greater Victoria, or the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, as Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich, Central Saanich, North Saanich, Sidney, Esquimalt, Langford, View Royal, Colwood and Sooke.
Read the full report below: