Artist's impression of the six-storey rental development planned to replace the West Country hotel in Langley City on the 20200 block of 56th Avenue, as seen from the community park on Michaud Crescent (Pennyfarthing image)

Rental vacancies in Langley lower than in Vancouver

The region is seeing a higher vacancy rate due to the pandemic

Langley and its neighbours still have a very tight rental market, with vacancies here below two per cent last year, according to data released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The data snapshot was taken in October and shows that Langley has a 1.9 per cent vacancy rate.

That’s a lower vacancy rate than Vancouver, which came in at 2.6 per cent last year.

However, while both rates are considered slow by historical standards, they’re up from recent years, when more and more people moving to the Lower Mainland and seeking housing drove vacancy rates down to below one per cent in many markets.

For example, in 2019, CMHC data showed Vancouver had a 1.1 per cent vacancy rate, in 2018 it was one per cent, in 2017 it was 0.9 per cent.

In general, the region has had low vacancy rates going back decades.

CMHC’s historical data for Vancouver show that in 1990, the rate was 0.9 per cent.

It has only rarely been above two per cent since then. The current rate of 2.6 per cent is one of the highest rates in 30 years.

The Langley’s were not identical. Langley City’s vacancy rate was 1.6 per cent while the Township’s was 2.8 per cent.

According to CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan, the pandemic has depressed rental rates across the country.

“Lower international migration, fewer student renters, and weaker employment conditions led to weaker inflows of new renters,” Dugan said.

Despite the slight weakening in local demand for rental space, rents went up over the course of the year by about two per cent in Langley.

Langley has seen more purpose-built rental housing under construction in recent years, particularly in Langley City.

READ MORE: Prices edged up as COVID-19 spread across Canada

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