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Vancouver's vacancy rate drops to under 1% in 2022: CMHC

If it feels like it’s become even harder to find a rental in Metro Vancouver, you’re not making it up.

According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Vancouver’s rental vacancy rate dropped to under one per cent at the end of last year.

In its latest Rental Market Report, the housing corporation says the rate in the region decreased from 1.2 per cent in 2021 to 0.9 per cent in 2022.

“Higher homeownership costs and migration to the region led rental demand to increase faster than supply,” the report says.

It comes as the national vacancy rate has dropped to its lowest levels in 23 years, with CMHC saying it’s due to “widespread tightening across the country, including in Canada’s three largest rental markets,” Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto.

CMHC says the overall national vacancy rates for purpose-built rentals have decreased from 3.1 per cent to 1.9 per cent in 2022.

According to the housing corporation, Toronto saw the sharpest drop, from 4.4 per cent in 2021 down to 1.7 per cent in 2022.

“Lower vacancy rates and rising rents were a common theme across Canada in 2022. This caused affordability challenges for renters, especially those in the lower income ranges, with very few units in the market available in their price range,” Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, said. “The current conditions reinforce the urgent need to accelerate housing supply and address supply gaps to improve housing affordability for Canadians, as stated in our report.”

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