The annual Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) rental market report highlights rental affordability challenges across markets. The January 2023 edition highlights the extent to which the country’s housing affordability challenges have spilled over into the rental market, driving up rents and pushing vacancy rates to multi-decade lows. This is attributed to broad tightening of the market to increased immigration, the return to on-campus learning for post-secondary students and higher mortgage rates (driving would-be buyers into the rental market).
Report data for the purpose-built rental market in the St. Catharines-Niagara CMA (census metropolitan area – does not include Grimsby and West Lincoln) shows a vacancy rate of 2.8% in October, 2022, and $1,260 as the average two-bedroom rent (up by 6.3%). The purpose-built (primary) rental market is defined as ‘units in privately initiated, purpose-built rental structures of three units or more, both in apartments and in row housing’.
Report highlights for the St. Catharines-Niagara CMA include:
- In 2022, rental supply increased faster than demand.
- The vacancy rate for purpose-built rental apartment grew to 2.8% in October 2022. This was up from 1.9% in October 2021 and was aligned with the 10-year historical average.
- The same-sample average apartment rent increased by 5.9%, the strongest rate of growth in over 30 years.
- The gap between the average asking rent for vacant units and the rent paid for occupied units widened to 17.8%.
- The number of affordable rental options declined. More tenants stayed put as the costs of changing rental accommodations increased.
CMHC Rental Market Survey data tables also provided. Data tables are available for Canada, all provinces, and major centres (including St. Catharines-Niagara CMA). They include: vacancy
rate estimates; average rents; turnover rates; universe counts.
Published By: Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC)
Publication Date: January, 2023