TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 15, 2015) - The rental apartment vacancy rate[1] in Ontario urban centres[2] was 2.5 per cent in April 2015, down from 2.8 per cent in April 2014, according to the Spring Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

"Improving employment conditions for younger households who typically rent and fewer rental households moving to homeownership supported rental demand in Ontario this spring. Meanwhile, fewer migrants entering Ontario and more condominium rental completions were factors less supportive of purpose-built rental demand. The net effect these factors had on the rental market was to exert downward pressure on the Ontario vacancy rate this spring," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Ontario Regional Economist.

Vacancy rates declined in almost half of all urban centres in Ontario while remaining flat or edging higher elsewhere. The sharpest declines in vacancy rates occurred in Brantford (1.8%), Hamilton (1.8%) and Guelph (0.6%). The lowest vacancy rate was registered in Guelph (0.6%), Barrie (1.7%), and Toronto (1.8%) while the highest vacancy rates were registered in Windsor (4.9%), Thunder Bay (4.7%) and Greater Sudbury (4.6%).

Apartment rents for 2-bedroom units that were common to both 2014 and 2015 spring surveys[3] rose by 2.1 per cent this year versus a 2.7 per cent increase this time last year. Fixed sample 2-bedroom apartment rents grew the fastest in Hamilton (3.5 %), London (3.2%) and Guelph (2.9%) while growing the slowest in Kitchener (1.5%), Peterborough (1.6%) and Ottawa (1.7%). Modest income growth and more competition from condominium rental units dampened the growth in fixed sample rents across the province, especially for units charging above average rents.

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

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

[2] Urban centres defined as centres with a population of 10,000 or more.

[3] 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 April 2014 and April 2015 surveys provides a better indication of actual rent increases paid by tenants.

Additional data is available upon request.

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