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Rental vacancies fall across Western Canada as demand rises


Most market segments saw rents increase as demand outstripped new supply

Tenant demand outstripped growth in rental units in Western Canada in 2022.

Strong tenant demand helped push down rental vacancies across Western Canada despite new construction, underscoring the strength of the sector.

Calgary and Edmonton led Canada with the strongest growth in occupied units last year, according to the latest rental market report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The number of occupied units increased by 10.7 per cent in Calgary last year outstripping 8 per cent growth in the number of purpose-built rental units.

Despite leading the country in terms of new units added, Calgary saw vacancies drop to 2.7 per cent, the lowest level for the city since 2014.

“Record migration into Alberta largely supported rental demand, while increases in supply were not enough to balance it out,” CMHC reported.


This pushed the average rent for a two-bedroom purpose-built rental apartment to $1,466 per month, up 6 per cent from last year. This was the strongest increase seen in any Prairie market. Investor-owned condominiums also saw rents increase, rising to $1,648 a month.

“With Calgary’s economy growing beyond pre-pandemic levels, the rental market tightened to conditions not seen since Alberta’s last economic boom,” Michael Mak, a senior analyst with CMHC noted of what lies ahead for 2023.

The shift towards tigher conditions in Calgary outpaced a similar shift in Regina, the only market in Western Canada to see zero net growth in its rental stock in 2022.

The lack of new construction in Regina, coupled with a 4.1 per cent increase in occupied units, cut vacancies in the purpose-built rental sector by more than half to 3.2 per cent, CMHC reported. Meanwhile, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment increased 3.3 per cent to $1,186.