Few apartments available for rent in Sylvan

Apartment vacancy rates at Sylvan Lake were among the lowest in the province earlier this year, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing

Apartment vacancy rates at Sylvan Lake were among the lowest in the province earlier this year, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

In their spring rental market survey, released last month, CMHC pegged the community’s vacancy and availability rates at 1.1 per cent which compared to 22.1 per cent a year earlier. All the vacancies were for two bedroom apartments.

They recorded statistics from 262 units in ‘privately initiated apartment structures of three units and over’. The majority of those (214) were two bedroom apartments.

Grande Prairie had an equal 1.1 per cent rate in the April survey while Cold Lake at 0.3 per cent and Okotoks at zero per cent were the only communities lower than Sylvan Lake.

Edmonton’s vacancy rate was 2.7 per cent while Calgary’s was 2.5 per cent.

On the high end was Wood Buffalo with a vacancy rate of 10.8 per cent, followed by Lethbridge (7.1) and Medicine Hat (7.0).

Across Alberta’s communities with 10,000 or more people there was a 3.0 per cent vacancy rate compared to 4.7 per cent a year earlier.

Rental rates in Alberta increased 3.1 per cent for an average two bedroom apartment in existing structures from $1,029 to $1,055. In Calgary the price increase was 5.0 per cent (from 1,040 to $1,113) while in Edmonton it was 2.2 per cent (from $1,029 to $1,036).

Sylvan Lake showed average rents of $648 for one bedroom, $832 for two bedroom and $768 for three bedroom or larger units. Those prices were up 4.6, 1.6 and 2.2 per cents respectively.

The average rental apartment vacancy rate in Canada’s 35 major centres decreased slightly to 2.3 per cent in April from 2.5 per cent in the year earlier report.

“An overall improving job market over the last year, in conjunction with new migrants coming to Canada’s major centres, are factors that are supporting rental demand in Canada,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Immigrants, as well as young workers, usually tend to rent first and then move to homeownership.”