Vancouver Rental Vacancies Climb To The Highest Level Since 2013

Vancouver’s population growth is still booming, but the rental vacancy rate is climbing. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data shows primary rentals saw vacancies increase in 2019. The rate of vacancy is now at the highest level since 2013, but it has a long way to go to clear that number.

Vancouver Rental Vacancies Rise To Highest Level Since 2013

Vancouver’s primary rental market is seeing vacancies climb to the highest level in over half a decade. The average vacancy rate reached 1.1% in 2019, up 10% from a year before. This is the highest level since 2013, but this highlights how tight Vancouver’s market is.

Vancouver Primary Rental Vacancy Rate

The rate of rental units vacant, in Vancouver’s primary rental market.

Source: CMHC, Better Dwelling.

Despite being higher than most years in the past decade, the vacancy rate is still incredibly low. At the current rate of growth, it would take 5 years to clear 2013’s level of growth. That said, over the past decade, only 3 years have come in higher – 2010 to 2013. It’s incredibly low, but also incredibly Vancouver these days.

Vancouver Rental Prices Grow At The Fastest Rate In Over A Decade

Despite higher vacancy rates in Vancouver’s primary rental market, prices are climbing faster. The median price paid reached $1,400 per month in 2019, up 7.69% from the year before. This is the fastest pace of annual growth seen in over a decade.

Vancouver Primary Rental Median Rent

The median rent paid for rental units, in Vancouver’s primary rental market.

Source: CMHC, Better Dwelling.

Vancouver’s primary rental market is seeing more vacancies, but it’s still a very tight market. This is one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country, when it comes to large cities. Even so, there’s indication that fundamentals are still broken here. Price growth is accelerating as vacancies rise. After all, isn’t more supply suppose to remove pressure on prices to increase? Instead it appears to be accelerating it.

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  • Reply
    Holton 4 years ago

    Hey we all know the best way to solve this supply problem and at the sametime save our social system is to tax all none primary residence, all foreign owned residential real estate and all none real estate developer corporate (front corporations for money laundering) owned residential real estate.

    This will lower housing price relesse demand and bring in lots of taxes. Anyone telling you it doesn’t work is lying and protecting their own selfish interest.

  • Reply
    Keaton Bessey 4 years ago

    Rental rates will rise as new product replaces old and new people come into the market. It looks like 2019 and current new construction numbers outpace migration and immigration to the region, but not by much. We will continue to see rental rates rise with new construction as long as migration and immigration is sustained. There are only so many places for people to live. Also of note, the “vacancy rate” reported includes operational vacancy: the time it takes to clean up and market to re-rent a property after turnover. The marketing timeline is extended in our region as small, individual landlords (holding the vast majority of listings in greater vancouver) overprice their unit for a month until they realize its too high and they agree to a rate less than asking. If you remove the operational vacancy rate from the region, we are still at a 0% rate. If small landlords knew the market rate (its been pretty erratic so its tough to grasp) units would rent up faster and vacancy would be lower.

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