PEI

Tight rental market on P.E.I. making it tough to find a place to live

Charlottetown's rental vacancy is expected to be around 0.5 per cent for October, according to data from the Housing Market Outlook released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Low vacancy rate expected to continue into 2018, CMHC says

Killam Apartments says it has almost 1,000 units and almost all are taken. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Charlottetown's rental vacancy is expected to be around 0.5 per cent for October, according to data from the Housing Market Outlook released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 

The agency says the demand for rentals is greater than the supply.

Seniors who are leaving their homes, international students, and increased immigration to P.E.I. are leading to the jump in demand, according to a recent housing market report.

CMHC expects demand for rental units to continue over the next year and it predicts there will be even fewer units on the market by this time next year.

With such a low number of vacancies, rents are expected to stay high.

Looking for months

Students at Holland College know how competitive the rental market is right now.

Taya Gaudet started looking for a place to live several months ago.

Taya Gaudet was supposed to move back to Charlottetown in July but couldn't find an apartment to rent and ended up moving in with a friend. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"I started looking in February, I kind of gave up for a bit cause it took me a while," she said.

"I started looking again in May and then by July I was supposed to move to town, and then I ended up just moving in with somebody that I knew."

Listings out of date

MaEbou Secka said searching was difficult because listings were often out of date.

"There was a lot of places taken up before we even looked at them," he said.

MaEbou Secka managed to find an apartment to rent but it took him 3 months. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"There were a lot of places they forgot to remove their ad."

To secure an apartment Secka and his roommates had to go above their agreed price, but they didn't want to risk not having a place to live.

'Other side of the coin'

Dan Sampson, director of property management at Killam Apartments, says 2017 has probably been the best year for the company in its 14 years on the Island.

He said Killam's almost 1,000 units are mostly full.

"It bodes well for the state of the economy on P.E.I.," Sampson said.

"The other side of the coin, of course, is that it's very hard to find a place."

People can get on waiting lists, Sampson said, but it could take awhile to get a spot.

With files from Laura Meader

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