Apartment vacancy rates, rent up slightly in Ottawa: CMHC

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The rental apartment vacancy rate in Ottawa was up slightly this fall when compared to last year, according to a new report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The vacancy rate for apartments in the region was 2.9 per cent in October. That’s up from 2.5 per cent in October 2012, according to the CMHC’s Fall Rental Market Survey.

"The vacancy rate inched up this October as movement into homeownership strengthened in advance of the anticipated increased (sic) in mortgage rates into 2014. Weaker youth employment conditions softened the rental market further,” said Sandra Perez-Torres, CMHC's senior market analyst for the region, in a press release.

For rental condos, the vacancy rate also edged up to 3.6 per cent this fall from 3.2 per cent the year before. CMHC credited that rise to increased supply, as an additional 1,254 units came on the market.

Rents were also up in the region. The average two-bedroom apartment had a two-per cent rent increase, while the average one-bedroom had an increase of 1.3 per cent.

Condo rents rose much more, with a two-bedroom unit seeing a 12.7-per cent increase from last year. The average condo rent is now 26.5 per cent higher than the rent for an apartment with the same number of bedrooms.

Vacancy rates were the lowest, at 1.2 per cent, in the Glebe and Old Ottawa South area. Nepean and other “western areas” had the highest vacancy rates at 4.9 per cent.