Moncton’s rental vacancy rate is now near a 20-year high but that is not stopping developers from building hundreds of new rental units in the city.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. pegs the city’s rental vacancy rate at 6.7 per cent.
"[This] is somewhat high for this market, and it's probably one of the highest vacancy rates we've seen in the last two decades," said Claude Gautreau, an official with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in New Brunswick.
Meantime, construction of rental buildings in Moncton will add between 400 and 600 new units in the coming months.
Many units in the city already have "For Rent" signs and property owners are competing for tenants.
'The people giving out the permits for these buildings, do they not see what is going on?' — Tony LeBlanc, Ground Floor Property Management
Tony LeBlanc, the owner of Ground Floor Property Management in Moncton, has been in the rental business for decades.
LeBlanc said he doesn’t understand why so many new rental units are being put on the market when the vacancy rate is still so high.
"The people giving out the permits for these buildings, do they not see what is going on?" LeBlanc said.
The rental market has changed significantly in recent years, he said.
LeBlanc said for years he was in a position to be choosy about tenants. But these days, he said he will do just about anything to get his units filled.
"The rental market used to be a very passive industry. I'd put my ad on Kijiji or in the paper. I'd get a call, they'd apply and I'd select who I wanted," he said.
"Now, we've become salesmen. We're going to a showing and I'm doing everything I can to sell the unit and to try to get a close at the end of the showing."
No one from the City of Moncton responded to a request for an interview.