N.L. apartment vacancy rates on the rise, CMHC says

The rental apartment vacancy rate in Newfoundland and Labrador's urban centres is on the rise, according to the Fall Rental Market Survey.
In the St. John's region, the vacancy rate increased to 4.6 per cent in October. (CBC)

The rental apartment vacancy rate in Newfoundland and Labrador's urban centres is on the rise, according to the Fall Rental Market Survey released Tuesday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

In the St. John's region, the rate increased to 4.6 per cent in October, up from 3.2 per cent a year ago.

In other urban centres, the rate went from 2.7 per cent to 4.1 per cent.

Chris Janes, senior market analyst with CMHC's Atlantic Business Centre, blamed the increase on moderately slower economic growth for the reduction in demand.

"All urban centres except Gander reported higher vacancy rates in the October survey," added Janes.

Rents were also up.

Rent for an average two-bedroom apartment increased by 3.1 per cent in urban centres, or $812 per month.

In St. John's and area, the average rent for similar lodgings was $888.

The  CMHC defines an urban centre as a municipality with a population of more than 10,000.

Meanwhile, the increase in vacancy rates in St. John's are despite positive migrations to the city and fewer rental completions, Janes explained.

"Supply of new, higher-end rental units and increased competition from the large secondary rental market exerted upward pressure on the vacancy rate of surveyed rental units," Janes said.