Victoria's rental vacancy rate now at 1% after influx of new rental buildings comes on stream

Victoria's rental vacancy rate is hovering at 1% -- up from a record low of .5% just 2 years ago.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing the primary reason is the availability of new supply coming into the market.

Senior Economic Analyst for Vancouver Island,  Braden Batch, says projects that have been under construction over the past 2 to 3 years are now becoming available:

" It's basically the most construction we've seen in a generation. You've got to go back to probably the 1970's to see this level of construction in the region.  And the big primary, the big thing that's different say than a decade ago is that we've seen the return of purpose-built rental as a construction project. So you're seeing a lot of large apartment starts in Victoria and the area."

CMHC forecasts the apartment vacancy rate will edge upward over the next year.

However, with demand for rentals continuing -- stronger than inflation rent hikes are expected in both 2019 and 2020.

Meantime says after reaching a record-breaking pace in 2017, housing starts are poised to start receding.

In making its prediction CMHC considers a number of factors that drive demand -- including population growth, employment growth, and affordability -- and those indicators suggest Victoria is in for more modest levels of construction on the horizon.

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