According to a report released this week by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Campbell River has one of the worst situations in the province for people looking for rental housing with a vacancy rate of only 0.6 per cent and a turnover rate of only 7.9 per cent. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Report paints a grim picture for those searching for rentals in Campbell River

Vacancy rate at a miniscule 0.6 per cent, rent has increased 10 per cent year-over-year

People have been complaining for some time now about the lack of rental housing available in Campbell River.

Well, it appears their complaints may be valid. A study by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released this week shows that the Campbell River rental market is amongst least accessible in the province – and has been getting worse.

The report examines communities across the province with populations over 10,000 and includes statistics such as the type and number of rental units that exist in each community, how many are available, how many bedrooms they each contain and how much they cost to rent. The report then compares those numbers to their findings at the same time last year.

While the overall rental vacancy rate across the province has remained relatively unchanged over the past year at 1.3 per cent, the average rental cost province-wide has increased by approximately 5.8 per cent in that time.

Here in Campbell River, however, it’s a different story. In Campbell River, the vacancy rate has gone way down and prices have gone way up.

Related: Lack of affordable housing an ‘escalating crisis’ says Campbell River Mayor

The apartment vacancy rate in Campbell River has dropped from two per cent in October of 2016 to a mere 0.6 per cent in October of 2017 while average rents have increased from $749 one year ago to $827 as of last month – an increase of over 10 per cent.

The vacancy rates for two-bedroom units, in particular, has dropped from 2.5 per cent to 0.3 per cent.

Related: Campbell River family with no place to go awaits eviction

With a rental market like that, it should come as no surprise that people tend to stay in their accomodation longer while they have it. The apartment “turnover rate” in Campbell River is a mere 9.2 per cent – down from over 12 per cent last October. The provincial average turnover rate is 15.3 per cent, according to the report.

And the community is faring even worse when it comes to the availability of townhouses.

In October of 2016 the vacancy rate of townhouses in Campbell River was three per cent. Currently, the vacancy rate is only 0.3 per cent. The turnover rate for townhouses is a mere three per cent, compared to the provincial average of 16.2 per cent.

In fact, the combined turnover rate of townhouses and apartments is the lowest in the province out of all communities in the study at 7.9 per cent – just over half the provincial average rate, meaning what rentals are available only come open about half as often here as they do on average across B.C.

It should be noted that the study only includes complexes and buildings that contain more than three rental units, so units such as bedrooms for rent in people’s homes, basement suites and detached residential homes for rent are not taken into account. However, the CMHC says the rental market survey is still a good way to “estimate the relative strengths in the rental market.”

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