Grande Prairie’s rental vacancy rate has skyrocketed over the past year.
According to new data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 10.4 per cent of apartments are sitting empty, nearly nine times what was open last fall. Across Alberta, the average is 5.7, with the highest rate in Wood Buffalo and virtually no rooms available in Okotoks.
Over the past 12 months, rent has increased only slightly. It now costs an average of $1,193 dollars to rent a two bedroom apartment, up from $1,155 in October 2014. That’s the fourth highest in Alberta, behind Wood Buffalo again, Calgary and Edmonton.
In its report, CMHC says layoffs and reduced migration have contributed to the decreased demand in rental units. Its report only looks at rentals with more than three units and doesn’t consider basement suites and private rooms for rent.