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Victoria's apartment rental vacancy rate rises to 1%; growing population forcing rents higher

Victoria's inventory of rental housing is growing, as is demand for rental housing. According to data published by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the region's rental rate slipped up to 1% from 0.7% in 2017 while average rents surpassed the rate of inflation.  Citified.ca

Victoria's apartment rental vacancy rate rises to 1%; growing population forcing rents higher
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA

It is now marginally easier to find a rental apartment in the Capital Region compared to years prior but the new supply comes at a cost, according to data released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Victoria's rental vacancy rate jumped from 0.7% in October of 2017 to 1.0% this fall as the market continues to build its way out of a housing shortage that has plagued the region since the early 2000's.

With approximately 3,200 rental units currently under construction from Sooke to Sidney and another 6,600 in various stages of the municipal planning process, CMHC believes vacancy rates will rise to 1.5% in 2019 and 1.8% in 2020.

Since the start of the decade dozens of purpose-built rental buildings have completed on the south Island including multiple highrise towers and hotel conversions in downtown Victoria that delivered in excess of 1,000-units.

The increase in housing supply, however, has come up against a growing population on the south Island that saw rental rates push higher in 2018.

An average one-bedroom suite rents for $1,065 this fall compared to $988 last year, while two-bedroom suites now rent for an average of $1,385 over $1,288 last year. By 2020 the cost for an apartment is expected to rise further to an average of $1,215 and $1,580, respectively.

CMHC estimates metropolitan Victoria's population to have increased from 366,852 in 2015 to 380,860 this year, representing a rise of 14,008 individuals over a three year period. By 2020 the population is estimated to settle at just under 390,000 inhabitants. C

 
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