Still a shortage of Rentals in Nanaimo
Rental vacancy drops lower than B.C. average
The fact that vacancy rates for rental units in Nanaimo have decreased during the past year comes as no surprise to Andrew Tucker.
The head of the city’s community planning department said a report released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on Thursday that suggests Nanaimo’s vacancy rate has dropped from 1.5% last year to just above 0.5% this year corresponds with what he’s been seeing in the community.
There are only about 3,400 rental units in Nanaimo.
"There’s no doubt the rental market is tight here because a lot of the new jobs being created in Nanaimo are in the service industry and a lot of these folks are looking to rent at the same time that there’s less to rent," Tucker said.
"Nanaimo has a policy that’s in effect now that if rental vacancy rates drop below 3%, we don’t allow conversions from rental units into strata but the vacancy rates continue to drop despite the fact that 30% of new housing in the city have secondary
"A lot of it has to do with the fact that there are no more rental buildings, with 24 to 36 units, being built anymore mainly because there are no more government programs and incentives to build them."
Nanaimo is not unique in B.C. with dropping rental vacancy rates, but it does have one of the lowest.
Strong demand for rental accommodation throughout the province pushed the apartment rental vacancy rate down to an average 1.1% in April from 1.2% a year ago, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. report.
The metro Vancouver vacancy rate remained unchanged from a year ago at 0.9% while Victoria’s rate fell from 0.8% to 0.3% and the rate in Kelowna dropped from 0.7% to
However, the apartment vacancy rate in Abbotsford rose from 0.6% to 2.4% while the rate in Prince George increased from 2% to 2.7%.