Vacancy rates, rent up – report - Increase Capital had smallest increase between three big cities
(published in the Daily Gleaner, December 09/10)
Fredericton's residential vacancy rate was up this fall but remains the lowest of the three main cities in the province, says Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Fredericton's vacancy rate was 2.6 per cent in October, which was up from 2.3 per cent for the same time last year, according to CMHC's fall 2010 rental market survey.
The capital also had the smallest increase in vacancies amongst the three big cities, it said. Strong employment levels and steady in-migration have kept the vacancy rate low in the provincial capital," said Claude Gautreau, senior market analyst with CMHC in New Brunswick, in a news release.
Employment through the first three quarters of 2010 remained at a record level in Fredericton, due mostly to the strength of the local service and public administration sectors, said CMHC.
Moncton's vacancy rate was 4.2 per cent in October, up from 3.8 per cent last fall. Saint John's vacancy rate was 5.1 per cent in October, compared to 3.6 per cent last year, said CMHC.
"In 2010, housing market conditions have remained favourable to those seeking homeownership, contributing to reduced rental unit demand and higher vacancy rates in both Moncton and Saint John," said Gautreau.
CMHC said that in three of New Brunswick's four smaller urban centres, the vacancy rate also increased this year.
Edmundston was the only centre that posted a lower vacancy rate in 2010, declining 2.3 percentage points to 8.6 per cent. Miramichi matched Fredericton with the lowest vacancy rate in the province at 2.6 per cent, while the highest overall vacancy rate in the province was in Bathurst at 9.9 per cent.
Average rents in all of New Brunswick's urban centres increased 2.3 per cent in 2010, said CMHC. In urban centres, the year-over-year increase varied from a low of 1.1 per cent in Bathurst to a high of 2.9 per cent in Saint John. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Fredericton rose to $734 a month, up 3.47 per cent from the same month last year.