Apartment vacancy rate pegged at 4.9 per cent; up from 1.1 per cent last year

The rates for two bedroom units now average $908, one bedroom units increased to an average of $666

Higher demand and low vacancy rates supported increased rental rates in many of Alberta’s bigger communities, including Sylvan Lake.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s October rental market survey indicated average rents have increased 21.5 per cent for two bedroom apartments in Sylvan Lake. Rents for one bedroom units edged up an average of three per cent. (These rates were calculated by this reporter. A separate page in the survey indicates the percentage change of average rent was “suppressed to protect confidentiality or data was not statistically reliable”.)

The rates for two bedroom units now average $908, compared to $747 at the time of the last survey. One bedroom units increased from an average of $646 in October 2012 to $666 in October this year.

However vacancy rates also increased in Sylvan Lake. There’s a 5.6 per cent vacancy rate for two bedroom apartments, up from 1.4 per cent a year earlier. Overall, the town’s vacancy rate was pegged at 4.9 per cent, up from 1.1 per cent in October 2012.

Calculations for Sylvan Lake’s statistics were based on one bachelor unit, 33 one bedroom units, 213 two bedroom apartments, and 20 three bedroom apartments in 2013. All are in buildings with three or more units.

According to the report, the apartment vacancy rate in Alberta’s urban centres was 1.6 per cent in October 2013, down from two per cent the previous October. “Employment growth and an influx of migrants were the primary contributors to the decline in vacancies.”

The vacancy rate in Red Deer increased to 1.9 per cent in this year’s survey from 1.2 per cent in October 2012.