SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Dec. 16, 2014) - The rental apartment vacancy rate(1) in the Saskatoon Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) was 3.4 per cent in October 2014, up from 2.7 per cent in October 2013, according to the Fall Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). "While continued employment growth and elevated net migration over the past few years have maintained strong rental demand in the Saskatoon CMA, additions to the purpose-built rental apartment universe via new construction and the movement of renter households into homeownership contributed to the higher vacancy rate this fall," said Goodson Mwale, CMHC's Senior Market Analyst for Saskatchewan.
Based on a sample of structures common to both the 2013 and 2014 surveys(2), the average two-bedroom rent in the Saskatoon CMA increased by 4.3 per cent year-over-year in October 2014, compared to a four per cent gain from October 2012 to October 2013. Bachelor suites reported the largest same-sample rent increase of 5.4 per cent year-over-year, after rising four per cent in the previous October survey. The lowest same-sample rent increase was in apartments with three or more bedrooms, at 2.8 per cent year-over-year.
CMHC's October 2014 survey reported higher apartment vacancy rates in five of Saskatoon's eight zones, ranging from as high as 7.4 per cent in the Outlying Areas of the CMA to a low of 2.7 per cent in the Central zone. While the Outlying areas outside City limits posted the highest vacancies, readers should note that the area's considerably smaller rental universe could amplify the changes in the vacancy rate. The vacancy rates by bedroom type ranged from a high of 4.1 per cent in bachelor suites to a low of 3.3 per cent in one-bedroom apartment units.
In new and existing structures, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Saskatoon CMA was $1,091 in October 2014. The Central zone continued to have the highest average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment this fall, at $1,193. Proximity to downtown and the University of Saskatchewan supports higher apartment rents in this zone. The lowest average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment was reported in the Outlying Areas, at $824.
CMHC's Fall Rental Market reports also include information on the secondary rental market for some centres. In the Saskatoon CMA, the vacancy rate in rental condominium apartments was 1.2 per cent in October 2014, compared to 0.7 per cent in October 2013.
CMHC recognizes that there is demand to fill information gaps with respect to Canada's housing markets. To address this need CMHC has, for the first time, asked property managers to provide information on the total number of condominium apartment units owned by people whose permanent residence is outside of Canada as part of its survey. The condominium foreign investment information was collected in 11 Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) in Canada. They include: Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec.
The results of this additional question indicate that the percentage of foreign investment in condominiums in Victoria is 1.1 per cent, Vancouver 2.3 per cent, Calgary 0.2 per cent, Edmonton 0.1 per cent, Saskatoon 0.3 per cent, Regina 0.1 per cent, Winnipeg 0.1 per cent, Toronto 2.4 per cent, Ottawa 0.7 per cent, Montréal 1.5 per cent and Québec 0.6 per cent. With respect to location, the city core in Canada's largest rental markets (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver) experienced larger foreign condominium ownership. (More details can be found on page 5 of the National report).