Canadian apartment rental outlook

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    Every year the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) issues its widely covered report on the housing outlook. This year it also released a “Special Report: Rental Market 2012,” which contains some outstanding information for RentersPages.com customers seeking insights into the national apartment rental scene. It covers each urban area and also views the larger picture. If you are contemplating moving or are being transferred it’s quite important information.

    According to the CMHC’s most recent report, national rental rates decreased to 2.2 per cent in October 2011 from 2.6 per cent in October 2010, when it issued its report at the end of 2012.  An increase in youth employment over the 12 months to September 2011, along with immigration, continues to support demand for rental units across Canada.

    “Although immigration has been moderating in recent years, it remains elevated by historical standards,” noted the CMHC. “New immigrants tend to rent first and then move to home ownership.”

    Reflecting general apartment rental market conditions across Canada, “the vacancy rate is expected to be unchanged at 2.2 per cent in 2012.”

    How does this affect those considering apartment rentals? Is a tight market a good market? We think it is. RentersPages.com believes that competition is good for renters because it improves the product available. While it might seem that an abundant market would produce lower rates, the product then offered in a non-competitive environment is sometimes of lower quality. The apartment rentals we offer are high quality and so are in demand and thrive in tighter markets.

    A report from Troy Media, used with permission, said that in the Toronto market, apartment “rental market tightness observed in the fall likely extended into 2012.” These conditions also apply to the national picture and affect RentersPages.com users.

    Troy stated that “vacancy rates for purpose-built apartment product fell to 1.4 per cent in the fall, marking the lowest recorded rate since 2001.” The average rent for two-bedroom apartment units rose 2.3 per cent. Ontario’s annual Rent Increase Guideline is 3.1 per cent for 2012.

    “Toronto’s purpose-built rental stock has grown at a snail’s pace in the past decade, leaving investor-owned dwellings to supply the market,” the Troy story stated. CMHC estimates that “61,000 units or 22 per cent of Toronto’s condominium apartment stock was either rented or available for rent.” That is still a big number for RentersPages.com customers seeking apartment rentals.

    Condominium apartment rental units had a vacancy rate of 1.1 per cent, the Troy report commented. “This is lower than the rate recorded in the purpose-built stock, despite units being priced at a premium to the overall rental stock,” noted Troy. Condominiums in the city centre were more likely to be part of the rental stock, with an estimated 30 per cent either rented out or available for rental, and with many listings on RentersPages.com. These figures do not include other privately owned rentals including basement suites or single- family homes.

    RentersPages.com advises its clients that concerns about an overly tight market are unfounded.  There are market conditions that favour every market but the one common denominator in apartment rentals is that the best quality homes always find an occupant. That’s why we believe our service is the most successful on the market directing renters to just the right home for them.

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      About the Author:

      Richard Rotman, also known as the PRWriter in Toronto, is RentersPages.com’s real estate columnist. He has both PR and journalism background in the U.S. and Canada. He started out his writing career at the City News Bureau of Chicago and also worked at the Washington, D.C. Post as a national staff writer. In Toronto, Rotman was the editor of Metropolis magazine and a movie critic on several radio stations, including Q107, CFRB, CFNY and 680 News’ predecessor. His articles have appeared in many newspapers, including the Globe and Mail and the Chicago Sun-Times he has several chapters in books to his credit. He was also the PR columnist for Marketing and Strategy magazines. In PR, Rotman has worked with several of the North America’s major agencies and is currently a PR consultant and a Professor in Humber College’s Media Studies department at its Lakeshore campus.