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Economy's Plunge May Ease Vacancy Rates, Experts Say

by Michael 30. April 2009 11:33

Some tenants say they can no longer afford Vancouver's high rents

By Catherine Rolfsen, Vancouver Sun

Vancouver's vacancy rates will rise slightly in 2009 after nearing a 20-year low in 2008, industry experts predict.

But that's not necessarily good news. The easing up of the rental housing market may be partially a result of renters moving out because they just can't pay their rents in the current economic climate.

David Goodman of Macdonald Commercial Real Estate Services, a longtime specialist in rental properties, said he has spoken to dozens of owners and property managers lately and has found that vacancies are unusually high.

"Suddenly [owners] are getting much higher incidents of notices than they've received for years," said Goodman, who is publishing his forecasts in next month's edition of his newsletter The Goodman Report.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's rental market report last fall also predicted "some easing" of Metro Vancouver vacancy rates in 2009 after rates hit 0.5 per cent in 2008, the lowest since 1989.

The CMHC forecasts that vacancy rates could hit one per cent this year for the first time since 2005.

Goodman thinks they could go even higher, and suspects the plummeting economy is responsible.

Read the whole story here.

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