PEI

Apartment vacancy rate on P.E.I. approaches zero

The vacancy rate for apartments on P.E.I. in 2018 took a drastic drop from the record lows of the previous year, according to a report published Wednesday morning by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Vacancy rate zero for larger apartments

Apartments for rent on P.E.I. remain hard to come by. (David Donnelly/CBC)

The vacancy rate for apartments on P.E.I. in 2018 took a drastic drop from the record lows of the previous year, according to a report published Wednesday morning by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

CMHC reported a vacancy rate on the Island of just 0.3 per cent, down from 1.2 per cent in 2017. The vacancy rate for larger units, with three or more bedrooms, fell to zero.

High levels of immigration continue to result in very tight rental market conditions for both the Charlottetown and Summerside areas, said CMHC senior analyst Chris Janes.

"The lack of construction I think is a big factor as well so I think another consequence that we'll see as a positive as we go forward is more multi-unit rental construction," he said.

"So far there's been a lot of single detached activity, some row and some duplex but we really need to see some  significant multi-unit rental unit construction activity … to alleviate the situation and add supply to the market."

Smaller units saw some big increases in rent. The average rent for a bachelor apartment is up 5.55 per cent and for one-bedrooms it is up 5.80 per cent.

Both Island cities also saw the vacancy rate fall drastically. In Charlottetown it dropped from 0.9 per cent to 0.2 per cent, and in Summerside from 2.5 per to 0.9 per cent.

This year CMHC added Stratford and Cornwall to the report. The rate in Stratford fell from 1.5 to 0.2 per cent. The rate in Cornwall was zero for both 2017 and 2018.

Janes said CMHC's national housing strategy can assist in working with all levels of government and the building community.

"We need to come together and create more not only market stock rental units, but also affordable rental units as well, so at the end of the day everybody can have the privilege of living in a home, whether it be rental or home ownership."

More P.E.I. news

About the Author

Kevin Yarr

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.

With files from CBC News: Compass