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Yellowknife Vacancy Rate Cut in Half

Under rental markets, yellowknife

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Written on June 15th, 2015

This morning the CMHC released its Spring 2015 Rental Market Statistics Report.  Amazingly, Yellowknife’s rental apartment and townhouse vacancy rate was slashed from 5.3% a year ago to 2.4% this spring.  And the reduction would have been even greater had an additional 52 units not been added to the inventory.

To get a sense of how surprising these numbers are one doesn’t has to look too far.  Just a week ago CMHC released its Northern Housing Outlook Report, in which it predicted a decrease in the vacancy rate in 2015 to 3.5%.

All of this is good news for investment property owners and bad news for renters.  But does it mean we’ll be making a return to our traditionally stingy vacancy rates?  There are currently more than 200 apartment condos under construction and/or pre-sales in our city, which could theoretically draw tenants out of 10% of the total rental universe.  We also have a couple of large rental apartment buildings sitting vacant while being renovated.  Granted, we did just lose one downtown apartment building to a fire over the weekend, but on the balance I would expect rental rates to relax between now and this time next year.

Vacancy Rates (%) in Privately Initiated Rental Row and Apartment Structures of Three Units and Over
Year Vacancy Rate (%) Total Units
1998 0.1
1999 0.1
2000 0
2001 0.1
2002 0.3
2003 1.8
2004 3.1
2005 3.4
2006 3.4
2007 – Spring 2.8      1,921
2007 – Fall 1.2      1,946
2008 – Spring 0.6      2,004
2008 – Fall 0.9      2,005
2009 – Spring 2.9      2,003
2009 – Fall 5.3      2,138
2010 – Spring 1.3      2,125
2010 – Fall 0.9      2,120
2011 – Spring 0.7      2,119
2011 – Fall 1.3      2,103
2012 – Spring 2.4      2,110
2012 – Fall 3.2      2,121
2013 – Spring 3.6      not available
2013 – Fall 3.6      2,080
2014 – Spring 5.3      1,928
2014 – Fall 4.8      1,943
2015 – Spring 2.4      1,980