The vacancy rate in Grande Prairie has nearly doubled over the past year. According to new data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 19.8 per cent of apartments are sitting empty, up from 10.4 per cent in the fall of 2015.
It was as low as 1.2 per cent a year before that. That’s the biggest jump of any of Alberta’s urban centres this year, and GP now has the second highest rate, behind only Cold Lake.
It’s clear that local landlords have reduced rent to try to fill vacant units. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment has dropped from nearly $1,193 to $1,022. That’s also the largest drop in the province. Rent is still the the fourth highest in Alberta, behind Wood Buffalo, Calgary and Edmonton.
For the first time ever, CMHC also looked at the tenant turnover rate. Grande Prairie’s was 38.8 per cent, the third highest in the province.