The rental vacancy rate in Grande Prairie has dropped nearly 15 per cent over the past year. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says 4.9 per cent of rental units in the city were sitting empty last month, down from 19.8 per cent in October 2016.
CMHC credits natural gas and oil price gains, which have improved economic activity and rental demand. However, Wood Buffalo hasn’t seen the same results.
“The region continues to recover from the wildfires in 2016,” the recent Rental Market Report reads. “Weak labour market conditions and a decline in population have impacted rental demand in Wood Buffalo.”
Across Alberta, the vacancy rate has dropped from 8.1 per cent to 7.5 per cent, which is the first decline after three years of increases. CMHC adds the average rent is $1,090.
“Improvements in rental demand and a decline in the number of rental incentives, have helped minimize rent
reductions in 2017. While several urban centres in Alberta reported a decrease, rents in centres such as Medicine Hat, High River and Strathmore posted a slight gain.”
Grande Prairie is below the average, with the average rent for an apartment at $951. Looking at a two-bedroom apartment, the average is reportedly $1,012, essentially unchanged from 2016.
GP’s apartment turnover rate is 36.2 per cent, just slightly higher than the provincial average. CMHC only started tracking those numbers in 2016.