Vacancy rate in seniors’ housing residences at 10.3 per cent

EMC News – The vacancy rate for standard spaces, which dominate seniors’ residences in Canada, decreased slightly over the past year, reaching 10.3 per cent in 2013, compared to 10.6 per cent in 2012, according to the Seniors’ Housing Report – Canada Highlights edition released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The average vacancy rate for all standard and non-standard spaces also decreased, falling to 9.2 per cent in 2013 from 9.5 per cent in 2012. “This decline was due to a change in the resident profile in 2013, compared to last year. This year, there were fewer couples and more singles among the residents,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC. “The increase in the share of singles among the residents caused demand for units in seniors’ residences to outpace supply of such units.”

Vacancy rates varied across the country, from a high of 25.0 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador to a low of 4.8 per cent in Manitoba. The vacancy rates for standard spaces in Ontario (13.4 per cent) and British Columbia (11.4) were above the national average. The rates in Prince Edward Island (6.6 per cent), New Brunswick (6.8 per cent), Nova Scotia (8.5 per cent), Quebec (8.7 per cent), Saskatchewan (8.8 per cent) and Alberta (10.2 per cent) were below the national average.

Across the country, the average rent for bachelor units and private rooms, where at least one meal is included in the rent, rose by 1.3 per cent, to $1,995 per month in 2013, compared to $1,969 in 2012. The highest average rent was recorded in Ontario ($2,789), and the lowest, in Quebec ($1,453).

According to the Survey, 205,112 seniors lived in the 2,579 residences surveyed. Across the country, there were 208,301 spaces in these residences, with the vast majority (85.1 per cent) being standard spaces.

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.