The vacancy rate across the major centres in Canada was unchanged at 2.6 per cent in 2007. Over the last year, demand remained relatively strong given a solid employment growth, particularly for the younger age groups. Overall net migration was high last year which fuelled demand for rental housing. However, construction of new condo and rental units helped keep the vacancy rate stable.
For next year, the expected slowdown in employment will moderate the demand for rental units. Moreover, the increasing number of condominium units offered for rent on the secondary market will put upward pressure on vacancy rates.
The average vacancy rate for Canada's 34 metropolitan areas is forecast to rise to 2.8 per cent next year. However, the direction and magnitude of the change in vacancy rates will vary from centre to centre. The outlook for vacancy rates for some key rental markets across Canada is summarized below.
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A. Mark Argentino
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