British Columbia

B.C. cities have some of the highest rents and lowest vacancy rates in Canada

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation released its annual report this morning — and B.C. isn't looking so good, with some of the lowest vacancy rates, and highest rents in Canada.

The findings were published in the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's annual report

According to the report, Kelowna, Abbotsford-Mission, Victoria and Vancouver all have less than one per cent vacancy. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

B.C. has some of the lowest vacancy rates and highest rents in Canada, according to a new report this morning from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The study found that B.C. is home to four of the five lowest vacancy rates in the country:  Kelowna,  Abbotsford-Mission, Victoria and Vancouver.

All four areas have vacancy rates of less than one per cent.

Kelowna had the biggest average rent increase at 8.6 per cent, followed by Victoria at 8.2 per cent and Vancouver at 6.2 per cent.

At an average of $1,552 per month, Vancouver remained the most expensive area to to rent a two-bedroom apartment, with Toronto following at $1,404 per month.

However the highest average rental condominium rent was in Toronto at $2,301 per month, followed by Vancouver at $1,874 per month.

The report also found that for the third consecutive year, average rents in Vancouver increased faster than the provincially-capped rate of 3.7 per cent. 

The B.C. Residential Tenancy Branch imposes rent guidelines, but when a unit turns over to a new tenant, the landlord is free to set a new rent amount at the market level.

The report isn't all bad news for renters. It says the supply of purpose-built rental units being approved is increasing, though many won't be occupied for years to come.