Apart­ment rents in­crease seven per cent

Moose Jaw Express.com - - Front Page - By Ron Wal­ter For Moose Jaw Ex­press

The av­er­age apart­ment rent in Moose Jaw in­creased by seven per cent in the last year, ac­cord­ing to the Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing spring sur­vey of the Saskatchewan rental mar­ket.

That meant shelling out $47 a month more, but the rental rates for dif­fer­ent apart­ment sizes varies con­sid­er­ably. A two-bed­room apart­ment costs 9.8 per cent more, or $73 a month in­crease.

One-bed­room apart­ments were up by $19 a month to $631 a month while bach­e­lor apart­ments were up by six per cent to $491 a month. Three-bed­room units in Moose Jaw are in such short sup­ply, no data is avail­able from the CHMC sur­vey.

Moose Jaw’s va­cancy rate dipped again from 1.9 per cent to 1.6 per cent and is the fourth low­est in Saskatchewan. A va­cancy rate of five per cent is con­sid­ered av­er­age, but only North Bat­tle­ford and Saska­toon had va­cancy rates that high of the nine cities sur­veyed.

North Bat­tle­ford’s va­cancy rate jumped from 3.4 per cent last April to 5.6 per cent. The oil city of Este­van has the sec­ond low­est va­cancy rate in the prov­ince at one per cent. Regina is low­est at .6 per cent, fol­lowed by York­ton at 1.4 per cent.

Re­duc­ing the va­cancy rate and keep­ing a lid on rents only comes from more sup­ply of rental units on the mar­ket, and peo­ple shift­ing into new hous­ing.

Since last April, de­vel­op­ers have added 292 apart­ments in Saskatchewan for 31,592 nights. Moose Jaw’s apart­ment stock was ac­tu­ally re­duced from 1,185 to 1,160 dur­ing that pe­riod.

Grants of $10,000 per unit from the prov­ince and city are in­cen­tives to build. Moose Jaw has also stopped con­ver­sion of apart­ments to con­do­mini­ums un­less the va­cancy rate is five per cent.

De­vel­op­ment of three new apart­ments over the next few months will in­crease the apart­ment in­ven­tory.

The va­cancy rate de­clined in five of the seven cen­sus ar­eas sur­veyed for the data.

Strong oil drilling and agri­cul­ture in Swift Cur­rent knocked the va­cancy rate down to 2.8 per cent from 9.6 per cent – the largest de­crease. Av­er­age apart­ment rent in Swift Cur­rent is up by $77 to $679

Este­van’s va­cancy rate fell from 2.5 per cent to one per cent while Lloy­d­min­ster’s rate fell to 3.1 per cent from 4.1 per cent.

Prince Al­bert’s va­cancy rate in­creased to four per cent from 3.4 per cent and Saskaoon’s va­cancy rate in­creased to 5.3 per cent from 5.1 per cent. Ron Wal­ter can be reached at ron­joy@ sask­tel.net

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