Negative Vacancy Rates

By Bruce Firestone | Real Estate

Feb 21

CMHC reported late last year (November 2017) that rental vacancies in the GTA (greater Toronto area) plunged to their lowest level in 16 years (1.1%).

Here is their breakdown by number of bedrooms:

  • Bachelor: 1.2 per cent (down from 1.4 per cent); $1,011 per month (up from $957).
  • One bedroom: 1.2 per cent (down from 1.3 per cent); $1,191 per month (up from $1,132).
  • Two bedrooms: 1.0 per cent (down from 1.3 per cent); $1,392 per month (up from $1,327).
  • Three or more bedrooms: 1.0 per cent (down from 1.8 per cent); $1,563 per month (up from $1,515

I suspect that, if the experience of my eldest daughter is any indication of the facts on the ground, actual vacancy rates might be approaching zero or even become negative.

How can you have a negative vacancy rate?

Well, Rachel ended up coach surfing, that’s how.

Rachel taking a break from the stress of finding an apartment in TO… by traveling to Thailand

Or young adults remain with their parents (much) longer.

Or over-crowding gets worse.

Or folks become homeless.

Remember, even if there is full occupancy, there are still some units vacant simply because they are being renovated or someone has signed a lease but not yet moved in…

There is a national, indeed international, affordable housing crisis.

And no one is tackling the real underlying causes.

Prof Bruce

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD
ROYAL LePAGE Performance Realty broker
Ottawa Senators founder
Real Estate Investment and Business coach


postscript: How to really address unaffordability in housing


source of feature image: By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,
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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.