OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 12, 2013) - The rental apartment vacancy rate(1) in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) was 2.9 per cent in October, 2013, up from 2.5 per cent in October, 2012 according to the Fall Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

"The vacancy rate inched up this October as movement into homeownership strengthened in advance of the anticipated increased in mortgage rates into 2014. Weaker youth employment conditions softened the rental market further. Additionally, added supply of condominium units offered for rent competed with some segments of the purpose-built rental apartment market and widened the vacancy rate growth of the latter," said Sandra Perez-Torres, CMHC's Senior Market Analyst for Eastern and Northern Ontario.

On the basis of a sample of structures common to both the 2012 and 2013 surveys(2), the average two-bedroom rent increased by 2.0 per cent in Ottawa, unchanged from the increase seen last year. One bedroom units saw the smallest increase in average rent at 1.3 per cent following a 2.1 per cent increase last October.

The apartment vacancy rate in most zones in Ottawa increased from the previous year. The Glebe/Old Ottawa South area had the lowest vacancy rate at 1.2 per cent and Nepean/Western areas had one of the highest vacancy rates at 4.9 per cent. Notably, the vacancy rate in the Downtown zone rose only slightly and remained tighter than the average vacancy rate as the area has the highest concentration of rental properties and remains one of the most popular rental zones.

In the Ottawa CMA, the rental condominium vacancy rate went up slightly to 3.6 per cent from 3.2 per cent a year earlier. The supply of condominiums for rent increased by 1,254 units from last year, offering potential occupants more options for rental accommodations. The average rent of a 2-bedroom condominium apartment came in 12.7 per cent higher than last year and 26.5 per cent higher than the same bedroom count purpose-built rental apartment unit.

Rental Market data is also available in English and French at the following link: CMA Rental Market Report

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.

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(1) The survey is based on privately-initiated rental apartment structures of three or more units.

(2) Year-over-year comparisons of average rents can be slightly misleading because rents in newly built structures tend to be higher than in existing buildings. Excluding new structures and focusing on structures existing in both the October 2012 and October 2013 surveys provides a better indication of actual rent increases paid by tenants.

Additional data is available upon request.

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A table is available at the following link:

Contact Information:

Market Analysis Contact:
Sandra Perez-Torres, Senior Market Analyst

Media Contact:
Beth Bailey, Consultant, Communications and Marketing