Island vacancy rates continue to climb
Vacancy rate at 7.8 per cent across urban centres in Prince Edward Island
As vacancy rates on Prince Edward Island continue to climb, landlords are having a tough time finding tenants to fill empty rentals.
The most recent numbers from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) show the vacancy rate in the province's urban centres is sitting at about 7.8 per cent, up about three per cent from last year.
The number of vacant rental units in Charlottetown jumped to 8.7 per cent in April, up from five per cent the same month last year. CMHC said new units in Charlottetown are the biggest factor in the increase.
After eight months of trying to rent out his condo, landlord Daniel Rashed finally gave up.
"I kept dropping the price, including everything — parking, heating, cable, whatever I had to do — but I didn't get the response that I thought I would," he said.
Rashed, who manages 10 rental units, decided to use the condo as office space for his real estate business instead.
"It does have a big impact. One unit empty that could be $10,000 a year, or $12,000 a year that's not going back into the mortgage and maintenance and heating," he said.
Rashed said he's one of many landlords around the city having difficulty finding tenants.
Meanwhile, at least one developer said hearing the latest CMHC numbers for Charlottetown makes him happy about his latest deal.
In May, Dico Reijers sold eight apartment buildings — 172 units in all — to real estate giant Killam Properties Inc.
"We hustled pretty hard trying to get these units full and while we never got to those numbers there were a couple months where we might have been pretty close to that," he said.
"That really affects the bottom line for a small business like us."According to the CMHC, more Islanders are renting but not enough to keep pace with new construction.