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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Edmonton's Rental Market

On Thursday, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released its Rental Market Survey for year up to October, and for the month of October.

The entire Metro Edmonton region’s apartment vacancy rate has fallen from 5.3 per cent in October 2004 to 4.5 per cent in October 2005. In the same time frame apartment rents have increased on average by 1.4 per cent this year or by approximately nine dollars per months. This follows a 1.2 per cent average increase for the period of October 2003 and October 2004.

The largest rent hike is for bachelor suites. Renters interested in those properties can expect to now pay on average approximately $457 per month, up from $441 last year.

Part of the reason for the increases across the entire Metro Edmonton region and the Province is related to the costs of construction."The price has gone up so much for everything and there’s such a shortage of labour that when they look at building and the kinds of rents that they’ll need to get a decent rate of return they start to get a little uneasy. If they are going to build an apartment building then they are more likely to build it as a condo so that they can get in, get their money, get out and move on. In a lot of communities condominiums are a lot more prevalent. Nationwide there are very few rental starts. For example in Calgary there has been very few rental starts. Thousands of apartments are being built, but the lion’s share of them are condominiums."

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