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Slumping economy results in rise in vacancy rate
The CMHC says the vacancy rate in Calgary for October 2015 is 5.3 percent.
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Monday, November 2, 2015 5:59PM MST
Last Updated Monday, November 2, 2015 6:02PM MST
The downturn in Alberta’s economy is being reflected in Calgary’s residential rental market and those looking for a place to live are finding they now have more to choose from.
Last October, the vacancy rate in Calgary was a tight, 1.4 percent.
This October, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation puts the vacancy rate at 5.3 percent for the city.
Experts say many laid-off workers have left the city and the number of people who are moving here has gone down since the price of oil started to fall.
“So our in-migration has dropped significantly but our outward flow of people has increased so as a result now we’ve got a market with higher vacancies, which translates into a great shopping place for tenants,” said Gerry Baxter from the Calgary Residential Rental Association.
Renters now have more inventory to choose from but the average rent is about the same as a year ago.
For a two-bedroom unit the average rent is $1332, which is up about $10 from last year.
Landlords say rates aren't coming down for three main reasons; rent can only be changed once a year in Alberta, property taxes are going up and insurance rates are much higher since the flood.
“While everybody would like to live in something that is cheaper than what they have, landlords would also really appreciate it if the bills didn’t continue to increase," said Baxter.
Calgary's housing market continues to see an increase in supply and declining prices.
The Calgary Real Estate Board says the benchmark price for a home in the city is $453,000, which is down 1.2 percent from the same time last year.