Vacancy rates drop to 0.8 per cent in Lower Mainland

Rents climb as demand for Metro Vancouver apartments outstrips supply

Rental vacancy rates have decreased to an average of 0.8 per cent across Metro Vancouver, and range from a low of 0.1 per cent at UBC to 1.9 per cent in Surrey.

It’s become tougher to find an apartment if you’re a renter.

The apartment vacancy rate in Metro Vancouver dropped to 0.8 per cent in October, the lowest level since 2008, according to a new report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

That’s a slight decrease from 1.0 per cent a year earlier, and it’s been an even steeper drop from 3.1 to 0.8 per cent in the Abbotsford-Mission area.

Within Metro, vacancy rates were lower still in Vancouver – which had a rate of 0.6 per cent – as well as UBC, the North Shore and South Delta.

South of the Fraser, the vacancy rates were 1.9 per cent in Surrey and 1.5 per cent in Langley.

The rates decreased by at least one percentage point in Langley, Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge and Delta.

The report cites population growth as a prime factor in the tightening rental market, as increased demand outpaces the construction of new units.

Rising home prices in many markets may have deterred or delayed the home buying plans of some renters, keeping downward pressure on rental vacancy rates.

“Continued price gains in the resale market have kept tenants in the rental market longer,” the report said.

The average two-bedroom apartment now rents for $1,368 in Metro Vancouver, up from $1,311 a year earlier. In the Abbotsford-Mission area, two-bedroom rents are up to $864 from $835 a year ago.

Landlords are charging higher rents when units turnover, CMHC said, and the strong demand may also be allowing them to impose the maximum allowed rent increases on existing tenants.

Rents vary widely across the region – the report notes average rents in Surrey are $359 lower than in the City of Vancouver.

“The Abbotsford area, like much of the suburban area of Vancouver, is also becoming more desirable for its lower housing costs and strategic location,” the CMHC report said.

“While most residents of Abbotsford City stay in the region to work, there are a number of commuting options, including the relatively new Port Mann Bridge, which helps to reduce commute time to the west side of the Lower Mainland.”

Just Posted

Backlog reduced at Langley adult day program

Wait list goes from months to weeks

Artisan cheesemakers forming BC association

Milner Valley Cheese is part of an effort to increase awareness of BC’s artisan cheese offerings.

LETTER: Fort Langley driver lobbies for roundabout signalling

ICBC rules call for drivers to signal when exiting roundabouts.

South Langley community group wants to talk innovative housing

Brookswood-Fernridge Community Association invites people to a meeting about the future of housing.

GREEN BEAT: Opening ‘new roads’ in Langley makes cycling safer

HUB Langley pushed to ‘UnGap the Map’ and create more bike infrastructure throughout the community.

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Norway opens probe into why cruise ship ventured into storm

The Viking Sky was headed for southern Norway when it had engine problems on Saturday afternoon

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Crash threatens Vancouver shipyard’s schedule for new coast guard ships

The delivery of the vessel was already years overdue

Fired B.C. farmland commission chair backs NDP rule changes

Richard Bullock agrees with Lana Popham, ALC records don’t

Kamloops chamber of commerce director let go after controversial Facebook posts

Facebook account had derogatory comments about Muslims, Justin Trudeau

B.C. RCMP officer cleared after Taser incident seriously injures woman

Woman with knives refused to comply with orders therefore officer used appropriate level of force

‘Bikinishe’ swimwear retailer prompts Better Business Bureau warning

Watchdog has gotten dozens of complaints about company, which has been using fake Vancouver address

Fraser Valley Thunderbirds advance to BCMML final

T-birds eliminate Okanagan Rockets, take on Cariboo Cougars in final this weekend

Most Read