Vacancy in Calgary’s rental market increased from 1.4 per cent in 2014 to 5.3 per in 2015, leading Altus Group to place the city in the “soft” category. CREB®Now file photo.

Calgary rental vacancy rate soaring

Highest in Canada, according to report

Vacancy rates in Calgary’s rental housing market are the highest in Canada, with some categories skyrocketing into double-digit territory over the past year, says a new report.

According to real estate consultant Altus Group, the vacancy rate for two-bedroom units in newer buildings (constructed after 2005) has jumped from 1.9 per cent in 2014 to 23.4 per cent in 2015 – more than triple the next urban centre on the list (Regina, 7.6 per cent).

Overall, vacancy in Calgary’s rental market increased from 1.4 per cent in 2014 to 5.3 per in 2015, leading Altus Group to place the city in the “soft” category.

According to the report, higher relative rents in newer buildings, along with owners’ reluctance to budge on rates, have left the sector “vulnerable” in the current economic weakness. Altus expects incentives to play a greater role this year.

Using Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. data, Altus Group’s report showes the average rent in newer buildings in Calgary remained relatively unchanged (-.02 per cent) in 2015 at $1,742.

In Calgary’s rental condo sector, the vacancy rate for two-bedroom units has increased from 1.1 per cent in 2015 to 4.9 per cent in 2015, with the average rent sitting at $1,522.

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