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Rental Vacancy Rates Sink in Collingwood

Posted by Sherry Rioux on February 15, 2011
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I’m not sure if you will consider this good news or bad news.  I guess it depends what side of the fence you are sitting on.

In a recent report released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, it stated that the vacancy rate for rental accommodations in Collingwood has dropped below 1%.  The Ontario average in the fall of 2010 was 2.9%. Now in the past, I have generally found their figures to be on the high side and when I questioned it a few years ago, learned that they collected their data by reviewing newspaper ads of vacancies.  According to the current report however, CMHC establishes these figures based on telephone interviews, site visits and discussions with landlords.

In a recent article in one of the local newspapers, the Enterprise-Bulletin, the manager of the local housing registry commented that she was alarmed by the figures and couldn’t recall seeing CMHC report such a low rate in 9 or 10 years.  She also shared that the local housing resource centre saw 1,285 people in 2010.

According to the chart found in the full report, only 13 units were available to rent out of a possible 584.  It should be noted that the study looked at buildings with three or more units which would not include all of our rental stock however, it is likely a fair enough sampling to suggest the data may be relatively equal across the board.  In contrast, Meaford showed a vacancy rate of 8.1%.

Average rental rates in Collingwood climbed 3.9% in one year with an average rent in the area of $794.00 per month compared to a provincial average of $923.00.  Specifically, local average rents broke down as follows:

Bachelor Unit $644.00
1 bedroom  $732.00
2 bedroom  $852.00
3+ bedrooms  $828.00

These figures again underline the need for a national housing strategy.  One big hole in Ontario’s draft long-term affordable housing strategy   is the lack of policy on critical issues in the private rental market, such as rising and unaffordable rents fueled by a lack of adequate supply of rental units.  Many low and moderate and middle-income households live in private rental housing.  At the same time, Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act is structured in such a way that it is a significant deterrent for private investors to become landlords.

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