Report: Nelson’s rental vacancy rate is 0.7 per cent

The overall vacancy rate for the province is 1.3 per cent, up from 1.2 per cent in 2015.

The overall vacancy rate for the province is 1.3 per cent

The rental vacancy rate in Nelson was 0.7 per cent in October, according to a new report by the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is up from 0.4 last year.

The overall vacancy rate for the province is 1.3 per cent, up from 1.2 per cent in October, 2015.

A vacancy rate of one per cent would mean that at any given time there would be one vacancy per 100 units.

The report breaks the numbers down into different types of rentals. For three-bedroom units, there are no numbers because there are too few three-bedroom units available in Nelson to do a calculation. For two bedroom units the rate is 0.8, for one bedroom it’s zero, and for bachelor apartments CMHC simply designates the number as “unreliable.”

The average Nelson rent is $770, up from $739 last year a four per cent increase. The average for bachelor apartments in 2015 was $572, and $605 in 2016. For one-bedroom units, $684 in 2015 and $714 in 2016; two-bedrooms increased from $830 to $890; and for three-bedrooms there were not enough units to supply any data.

The average rent for the province is $1,099: 43 per cent higher than in Nelson and up from $1,035 in 2015.

The number of units available to rent in Nelson declined by two per cent, from 507 to 496.

However, there is one irregularity in these numbers that should be noted. CMHC’s figures cover apartments, suites, and townhouses, but not rentals of entire houses and not suites in buildings with fewer than four rental units. The numbers pertain to apartment buildings.

But Nelson realtor and landlord association president Trevor Jenkinson says he doesn’t think that skews the numbers very much, and that the vacancy rate would be about the same even if spaces such as basement suites were included.

The report says rental demand increased in 2016 across most of B.C. for a number of reasons.

Employment opportunities have improved among the younger segment of the population who tend to rent. “The unemployment rate for this group declined to 10 per cent in September compared to 14.9 per cent a year earlier,” the report states.

Also, house prices have gone up, there are fewer real estate listings, and fewer new home completions compared to the rate of new household formation, the report says.

“Competition among home buyers for entry level housing in the resale market, and a lack of new homes for sale, were also factors at play in the housing decision of some renter households looking to get into home ownership. As well, some first-time home buyers stayed in rental accommodation longer to save for a larger down payment. The inventory of new and unsold homes in BC reached record lows in 2016.”

Migration into the province from other provinces and internationally has increased, and according to the report this could trickle down from the big cities to places like Nelson, creating more rental demand.

Jenkinson says the number of rental units in Nelson has decreased.

“There have been limited additions to the rental housing supply. Purpose-build rentals just do not exist here, and there has been some removal from the rental market for various reasons: some houses have sold, some have decided to stop being landlords, and there is the Airbnb thing.”

He said some landlords have decided to stop long-term renting and go with short-term rentals instead because of bad experiences with tenants.

CMHC’s statements about migration apply to Nelson, according to Jenkinson, who says that from his vantage point as a realtor he sees new people arriving and current residents not leaving.

Ann Harvey of the Nelson Committee on Homelessness says her group’s annual reports on homelessness have predicted many of the points in the CMHC report.

“Anyone who has been in the housing business for a decade or so has seen this coming,” she said. “There has been no investment either by the private or public sectors in rental housing for decades, almost 25 years.

“You can’t fault the private sector. They need to make money and it is a quick in-out if you build for home ownership. There has to be some incentive for them. They could not build rentals and make a profit. So where does the responsibility then lie?”

 

Just Posted

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

KBRH on watch for bed bugs after two recent cases

Spokesperson Mandy Lowery says there has not been a bed bug sighting at KBRH since Dec. 8

Coffee card donations return at Wait’s News

The program supplied over 200 cards last year

Trafalgar students build home for sanctuary horse

Grade 8 students collaborated on a project with a local farm sanctuary

Nelson won’t restrict parking amnesty to West Kootenay

So far, more than 800 people have responded with amnesty payments

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Most Read