Hello vacancies: CMHC’s 2020 Rental Market Report for Metro Vancouver released

Goodman Report

Significant vacancy rate increases throughout region, with some decreases

CMHC speaks

The 2020 CMHC Rental Market Report for Metro Vancouver has just been released. Highly anticipated by politicians and planners, lenders, and real-estate professionals and owners, the report focuses on the state of the rental apartment market by area in the region.

While we had anticipated significant changes, we’ve never seen statistical change like this. In one area, vacancy rates increased by 3,000%!

Here are the main takeaways we see:

Vacancy rates increases

  1. Vancouver West End: Up from 1.0% in 2019 to 4.0% in 2020
  2. City of Vancouver: Up from 1.0% in 2019 to 2.8% in 2020
  3. Vancouver CMA: Up from 1.1% to 2.6% overall

Almost all markets showed significant vacancy rate increases. Not surprisingly, the sharpest were in Downtown Vancouver, South Granville, UBC and City of North Vancouver.

Vacancy rate decreases

Despite COVID, some areas still saw vacancy rate decreases – not good for tenants!

  1. Langley: Down from 3.3% in 2019 to 2.0% in 2020
  2. Tri-Cities: Down from 2.2% in 2019 to 1.9% in 2020
  3. Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows: Down from 1.8% in 2019 to 1.5% in 2020

Of the decreases, the most shocking and frustrating has been in White Rock, because of the politicking behind it. In White Rock, vacancies dropped from 1.7% in 2019 to 0.8% in 2020. This comes on the heels of the second new rental building proposed (80 units) in 40 years in this market. City Council voted it down 4–3 on January 25.

Here’s an article chronicling the two-year process the White Rock builder went through: https://www.peacearchnews.com/news/white-birch-developer-feels-betrayed-by-city-of-white-rock-council/

This decision is another example of backwards thinking on a council’s part at the expense of tenants and the broader community.

Rental rates continue to rise in some areas, mostly suburbs

  • Average rental rate increases: Ranging 1.0% (Kitsilano) to 12% (North Burnaby)
  • Largest average rental rate increases: Delta, District of North Vancouver, Surrey, UBC, Vancouver – East Hastings

To understand how these findings impact your investment strategy for 2021, feel free to call Cynthia Jagger (604-912-9018) or Mark Goodman (604-714-4790). We’d be pleased to discuss!

Also, stay tuned for our Goodman Report 2020 Year-End newsletter. This will be released around the end of the month, breaking down all sales in Metro Vancouver for 2020, with articles and our quintessential Hot or Not list. A must-read!

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