Trying to find an apartment in Terrace? Good luck

Vacancy rate stands at zero, says federal housing agency

It’s harder to find an apartment or townhouse to rent in Terrace than it is anywhere else in the province.

That’s the word from a report released by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation Dec. 12, which shows Terrace has the lowest vacancy rate in the province among communities with a population over 10,000.

As of October, the vacancy rate for apartments in Terrace was the lowest in B.C. at zero per cent, down from 3.4 per cent last October. With just 396 apartment units, that’s four less than October 2012’s 400 apartment units, according to the report.

The vacancy rate for townhouses was up from last year – at 1.4 per cent that’s double what it was last year. Only Squamish, with a vacancy rate of zero, and Kamloops with a vacancy rate of 1.3, have a lower townhouse vacancy rate. The vacancy rate increased despite there being less townhouse units – 146 this year compared with 149 in 2012.

Terrace’s overall vacancy rate is 0.4 per cent – the lowest in the province, with 542 units. Sqaumish and Parksville are tied for second lowest vacancy rate in the province, at 1.4 per cent. Vancouver sits at third lowest with 1.7 per cent.

The CMHC rental market survey data for Terrace doesn’t include secondary rentals, such as basement suites, houses, or rooms rented by owners who also live in the house. Only purpose built rentals with three or more units are included in the survey

Summerland, with an overall vacancy rate of 11.3 per cent, has the highest vacancy rate in the province. Dawson Creek is second with 10.7 per cent, and Terrace’s neighbour to the west, Prince Rupert is third highest in the province with an overall vacancy rate of 9.8 per cent. Prince Rupert has the highest vacancy rate for apartments in B.C. at 11.1 per cent.

CMHC also reports the average rent in Terrace is up, from $658 last October to $683 this October, an increase of 4.8 per cent.

That’s still the fifth lowest in the province, behind Quesnel at $603, Port Alberni at $627, Powell River at $631, and Prince Rupert at $661. Vancouver has the highest rent in the province, with an average of $1,078.

The vacancy rate for the entire province is down slightly from last year, at 2.5 per cent this October compared to 2.8 per cent in 2012.

The vacancy rate is the percentage of all available units in a rental property that are vacant or unoccupied at a particular time. CMHC conducts the rental market survey every year in April and October, collecting data via phone interview and site visits with owners, managers and/or building superintendents.


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