Vacancy rates drop to 0.8 per cent in Lower Mainland

Rents climb as demand for Metro Vancouver apartments outstrips supply

Rental vacancy rates have decreased to an average of 0.8 per cent across Metro Vancouver

It’s become tougher to find an apartment if you’re a renter.

The apartment vacancy rate in Metro Vancouver dropped to 0.8 per cent in October, the lowest level since 2008, according to a new report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

That’s a slight decrease from 1.0 per cent a year earlier, and it’s been an even steeper drop from 3.1 to 0.8 per cent in the Abbotsford-Mission area.

Within Metro, vacancy rates were lower still in Vancouver – which had a rate of 0.6 per cent – as well as UBC, the North Shore and South Delta.

South of the Fraser, the vacancy rates were 1.9 per cent in Surrey and 1.5 per cent in Langley.

The rates decreased by at least one percentage point in Langley, Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge and Delta.

The report cites population growth as a prime factor in the tightening rental market, as increased demand outpaces the construction of new units.

Rising home prices in many markets may have deterred or delayed the home buying plans of some renters, keeping downward pressure on rental vacancy rates.

“Continued price gains in the resale market have kept tenants in the rental market longer,” the report said.

The average two-bedroom apartment now rents for $1,368 in Metro Vancouver, up from $1,311 a year earlier. In the Abbotsford-Mission area, two-bedroom rents are up to $864 from $835 a year ago.

Landlords are charging higher rents when units turnover, CMHC said, and the strong demand may also be allowing them to impose the maximum allowed rent increases on existing tenants.

Rents vary widely across the region – the report notes average rents in Surrey are $359 lower than in the City of Vancouver.

“The Abbotsford area, like much of the suburban area of Vancouver, is also becoming more desirable for its lower housing costs and strategic location,” the CMHC report said.

“While most residents of Abbotsford City stay in the region to work, there are a number of commuting options, including the relatively new Port Mann Bridge, which helps to reduce commute time to the west side of the Lower Mainland.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Police were at a White Rock home Oct. 20 to conduct a search warrant. (Aaron Hinks photo)
ERT response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s COVID-19 case count exceeds 1,800

About 800 new cases in September

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Most Read