Waterloo Region's apartment rental vacancy rate falls below 2%
Work continues on new construction projects in Waterloo's Northdale neighbourhood on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. (Marc Venema / CTV Kitchener)
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Tuesday, November 28, 2017 2:29PM EST
Even though more apartments are coming online in Waterloo Region, it’s getting harder to find one available to rent.
New figures from the Canada Mortgage and Housing corporation show that the region’s apartment vacancy rate for October 2017 stood at 1.9 per cent – down from 2.2 per cent one year earlier.
That decrease was despite the number of private apartments in the region rising from 30,828 to 32,951.
Elsewhere in our area, the rental vacancy rate in the Brantford area decreased from 2.1 per cent to 1.3 per cent year-over-year, as 58 net new units were created. There were actually 74 new two-bedroom apartments found in the area, while totals for bachelor and one-bedroom apartments decreased.
In Guelph, 194 new apartments were enough to push the city’s rental vacancy rate up from one per cent to 1.2 per cent. The only other surveyed markets to see their vacancy rate increase were all located north of Toronto.
Average apartment rental prices also rose in all three markets, hitting $1,040 in Waterloo Region, $928 in Brantford and $1,066 in Guelph.
All of those totals are lower than the Ontario average, entirely due to Toronto’s comparatively high rents pushing the average up.
The provincial apartment vacancy rate for October stood at 1.6 per cent. Only Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island reported lower vacancy rates.
The province has expanded its rent control program for 2018, setting a maximum increase of 1.8 per cent for most rental units. Previously, rent control had only applied to units built before November 1991.
A report commissioned by the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario found that at least 1,000 planned rental units in Ontario have been cancelled or switched to condos since the expanded rent control rules were introduced.