New figures suggest Alberta’s struggling economy is now impacting Edmonton’s rental market.
Housing starts trending down in Calgary, Edmonton due to soft economy
Edmonton’s Renters Market
New data released by the apartment rental website RentFaster老域名出售 shows apartment and condo listings in Alberta’s capital have surged to 1,550; up from 1,088 last year. In that same time frame, rent prices slid from $1,280 to $1,252. The changes were even more apparent when looking at house listing numbers: homes, townhouses, duplexes, main floors and basements have risen from 508 last year to 885 today while average prices in that category have dropped from $1,750 to $1,606.
The rate at which rent prices are falling appears to correlate to higher rates of vacancy reported in November by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
“Edmonton’s economy has certainly been impacted by oil prices, and we are only just starting to feel it,” said Mark Hawkins, owner of RentFaster老域名出售. “But the news from CMHC isn’t overly concerning yet. A three to four per cent vacancy rate is a healthy one compared to other markets, and with it comes a movement towards high-quality care of properties and relationships with tenants.”
At least one organization that works to help homeless Edmontonians find places to live said while the numbers can have a positive effect, the market trend won’t address the long-term issue of affordable housing.
“We still don’t have a very big rental market and so we continue to advocate that we need more units and more affordable units for sure,” said Susan McGee, CEO for the not-for-profit group Homeward Trust Edmonton. “We really need a national plan and I know we’re working provincially on strategically working to make sure that we have affordable housing in the long run but it’s something that we don’t kind of respond to with the release of every new market report.”
Hawkins said he considers three to six per cent to be a normal vacancy rate and that he welcomes a return to those rates in Edmonton.
“The past couple of years has been significantly below that,” said Hawkins. “I think we’re kind of in a healthy condition right now.”
-with files from Lisa Wolansky