Border City vacancies free fall

By Geoff Lee

December 6, 2017 2:00 PM

File Photo

Lloydminster’s rental vacancy rate has dropped by eight per cent to 17.4 per cent, the largest decline of all cities in Saskatchewan with a population greater than 10,000.
“The growth in rental demand in Lloydminster more than outpaced the minor increase rental supply,” said a Rental Market Survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in October.
The number of bachelor to three bedroom rental units comprising the primary rental market in the Border City grew by just 10 over the yearly period to 2,353.
CMHC says the primary (also known as purpose-built) rental market, consists of occupied units in privately initiated, purpose-built rental structures of three units or more.
Despite the increase in demand locally, the average monthly rent for purpose-built apartments in the city dropped by $3 from $999 in Oct. 2016 to $996 this October.
Average three bedroom rents rose from $1293 in 2016 to $1324 this year, while average two bedroom rents dipped from $1023 in 2016 to $1017 in 2017.
The vacancy rate in Regina and Saskatoon increased for the sixth consecutive year to respective 7.0 per cent, and 9.6 per cent vacancy rates.
The vacancy rate in all the surveyed urban centres in the province was relatively unchanged at 9.3 per cent from 9.4 per cent in 2016.
By bedroom type, vacancies in Saskatchewan ranged from 8.7 per cent in three bedroom units to 9.4 per cent in two bedroom rental apartments.
In the Border City, vacancies ranged from 15.7 per cent for three bedroom rentals (13.9 in 2016) to 18.9 per cent for two bedroom apartment rentals (28.4 in 2016).
Lloydminster also had a much smaller apartment turnover rate of 33.5 per cent in 2017 compared to the province’s annual tenant turnover rate of 37.5 per cent.
Prince Alberta recorded the highest turnover rate at 67.5 per cent, while Moose Jaw had the lowest.
Across Canada, the average vacancy rate for purpose-built rental apartment units decreased year over year from 3.7 per cent in 2016 to 3.0 per cent in 2017.
“Nationally, increased demand for purpose-built rental apartment units outpaced growth in supply, leading to a decline in the vacancy rate and a reversal of the trend we’ve seen over the last two years,” said Gustavo Durango, senior market analyst at CMHC in a statement.
“Demand for purpose-built rental apartments can be attributed to historically high levels of positive net international migration, improving employment conditions for younger households and the on-going aging of the population.”

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