Alberta’s capital city experienced its first apartment vacancy rate increase since 2009, seeing its rate inch from 1.4 per cent in October 2013, to 1.7 per cent in October of this year. CMHC reports that even though the apartment vacancy rate rose softly, the rate itself is quite low and resulted in a rise in rental prices. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Edmonton in October was $1,227 per month.
Calgary also witnessed an increase in apartment vacancies after declining for four consecutive years. According to CMHC, the vacancy rate was 1.4 per cent in October, up from 1.0 per cent from a year prior. Calgary's average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment was $1,322 in October.
The main reason for the rate increases comes down to basic supply and demand. The supply of apartments has been growing faster than the demand for units. In turn, this helped increase the vacancy rate in both cities this year. Although vacancy rates crept higher, they remained below the national average (2.8 per cent) thanks to high levels of migration, rising wages, and a favourable employment environment.