New CMHC survey shows rents rising, vacancies falling as tenants face tightening market

Thanks to Tom Durning, of the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, for forwarding this gloomy CMHC update on Vancouver’s rental housing market: rising rents and falling vacancies are creating a housing crunch for tenants.

Although Vancouver saw more than 200 new units completed last year, rising migration, a strong economy and the high cost of home ownership all combined to reduce rental vacancies.

A key finding of the CMHC study: the region’s new jobs tend to be lower-paying, underlining the “affordability” advantage of rental. It is remains much less expensive to rent a one or two-bedroom apartment than to buy one, despite low interest rates.

This all adds up to a heavy work agenda for the new Renters Advisory Committee approved by council yesterday, to be chaired by Councillor Tim Stevenson.