Less than a decade after historically-low vacancy rates, Saskatoon’s apartment availabilities shot up almost four percentage points this year to the highest level on record, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).
Saskatoon’s apartment vacancy rate climbed from 6.5 per cent to 10.3 per cent over the last 12 months, while the average rental rate for an apartment in the city remained steady at about $1,000, the CMHC reported Monday.
“Weak economic and labour market conditions have held back rental demand, while increasing supply in both the primary and secondary rental markets has resulted in a significant jump in apartment vacancies this year,” CMCH analyst Goodson Mwale said.
In practical terms, that means about 1,391 of the 13,507 apartments in Saskatoon were sitting empty last month. That represents an increase of 522 vacant units from the 869 that were sitting empty in October 2015. In October 2007, the vacancy rate in Saskatoon was 0.6 per cent.
While Saskatoon’s vacancy rate is minuscule compared to the 27.6 per cent recorded in Estevan and the 25.4 per cent posted in Lloydminster, it remains well above the 5.5 per cent vacancy rate in Regina, according to the CMHC’s latest rental market survey.