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Low vacancy, limited rental supply in Victoria: study

An aerial view of downtown Victoria. (CTV News) An aerial view of downtown Victoria. (CTV News)
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A report released Wednesday by the online rental company Rentals.ca paints a bleak picture of Victoria's rental housing market.

Rental asking prices across Canada have gone up by 8.9 per cent this year, with the average asking price in Canada for a one-bedroom surpassing the $2,000 mark for the first time ever.

According to Rentals.ca, Vancouver has the highest asking price for a one-bedroom apartment in the country, up by 16.2 per cent this July year over last July, followed by Toronto, where it’s up by more than 13 per cent.

However, Victoria ranked way down in 11th place for one-bedroom rentals, and asking prices had actually gone down by seven per cent since last July. Two-bedroom rentals are down by 2.4 per cent.

Giacomo Ladas, spokesperson for Rentals.ca, said Wednesday that the explanation for this phenomenon is that Victoria’s vacancy rate has dropped this July compared to last, and those few places that are being listed for rent are not high-end rentals.

“Apartment composition has a big part to play in this,” said Ladas.

“The vacancy rate in Victoria is extremely low, it’s actually below one per cent, which means there are fewer new units coming to market. And this will affect reducing the average rent, because we're not seeing a large influx of purpose-built rentals being built, which in turn has a large influx of new leases being signed at those premium prices.”

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