Vacancy Rates Decline in Edmonton

CMHC released their bi-annual report on the rental market in Edmonton yesterday showing decreasing vacancy rates and increasing rents. Increased net migration and job creation explain the changes to the rental market. The vacancy rate dropped from 4.2% in October 2010 to 3.3% in 2011.

Edmonton Vacancy Rates, Source: CMHC

The average monthly rent for a 2-bedroom apartment increased to $1,034 from $1,015 in October 2010. Edmonton rental rates were amongst the highest in Canada behind Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary ($1,084) and Victoria.

Edmonton rental rates, Source: CMHC

Bachelor suites reported the lowest vacancy rate at 2.7%. The area with the lowest vacancy rate this fall was St. Albert, at 0.5%, other relatively tight markets included the South West and Leduc, both at 1.2%. The University and Millwoods zones were also showing a low vacancy rate of 1.3%. 

Edmonton rental market by area, Source: CM

With vacancy rates moving lower across the Edmonton region, fewer
landlords are offering incentives to lure new tenants and reduce turnovers - 25% of landlords offered incentives last October compared to 10% this year. This represents the lowest level since October 2008. Even though rents increased in the past year, affordability increased as well, since renter income grew at a faster rate than rents.

Apartment vacancy rates across Greater Edmonton decreased in 2011 thanks to improved demand associated with the growing economy and further reductions are expected in the coming year as the economy continues to expand. Supply of new rental units will not keep pace with the expected rise in demand in 2012. Improving employment, particularly among the younger age groups, will encourage more newcomers to the region. Rental rates will continue to rise in the months ahead. A typical two-bedroom unit will rent for close to $1,060 by the fall of 2012.


Sara MacLennan is the Director of Marketing at Liv Real Estate and a licensed Real Estate Associate. The bulk of Sara’s experience and wealth of expertise lies in on-line technology and marketing both for agents and consumers. Sara is the former National Director for Interactive Marketing for Coldwell Banker Canada where she was responsible for an extensive training program traveling to offices across the country training agents and brokers on marketing and technology. Find Sara on Twitter @edmontonblogger. Digg

8 Responses to “Vacancy Rates Decline in Edmonton”

  1. TJNo Gravatar 14. Dec, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    What is the relationship between rental prices and house/condo values?

    You would think Vancouver rent would be twice that of Edmonton based on housing values being twice the value…

  2. birdladyNo Gravatar 14. Dec, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Just featured on Global News, Alberta is headed for another boom, perhaps the largest boom ever. One of the companies interviewed commented they need to hire 2100 people next year and they are only one of many. Watch those rental vacancy rates decline even further and rents go even higher.

    If a large number of these people will have their home base in Edmonton and the rental market dries up and/or rents get way out of control, watch the housing market heat up :)

  3. Edmonton ExpatNo Gravatar 14. Dec, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Well, as an Edmontonian transplanted in Ottawa due to a corporate decision 4 years ago, I am not surprised.
    Some rivals and other businesses here are transferring folks to Alberta and are rethinking basic strategies due to the perception that Alberta is a sound place to be.
    I hope I can be relocated back to Edmonton soon even if the weather is better here…

  4. Inspector GadgetNo Gravatar 14. Dec, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Really Expat?

    I have also lived in Ottawa and it is still one of my favorite cities. Family and work aside I would trade Etown for Ottawa in a heartbeat!

    Just saw the news piece Bird is referring to. I hope that does happen but with weak commodity prices including gas and oil one must question such over the top optimism.
    anecdotal chat from a man in a hardhat its a little slim in the credibility department for me to run out and start snatching up more rental properties!

    • tontoNo Gravatar 15. Dec, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      If you have rental properties (which I doubt) why would you not want a boom to happen? Dosen’t add up. I would like to here you explain why you would not want your propertie(s) to increase in value?

  5. GMNo Gravatar 15. Dec, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Transplanted to Ottawa?

    My sympathies…

  6. Inspector GadgetNo Gravatar 15. Dec, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    From a good opinion based discussion to personal slander in a quick sentence. Tonto, you are not worth debating. Read more carefully and next time you comment you won’t put your foot so far into your mouth.

  7. tontoNo Gravatar 15. Dec, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Ok thank you for the quick response. You don’t own anything and never will. Fair enough.