featured Poverty

News brief: In 2017 Nova Scotia rents went up, vacancy rates went down

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – In 2017 Nova Scotia apartments are harder to find and becoming less affordable, numbers published by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggest.

Compared to 2016 provincial vacancy rates for rental units decreased this year from 3% to 2.6%, while average rents increased from $947 to $982, up by 2.2%.

In urban Halifax average rents increased from $987 in 2016 to $1027 in 2017, while the vacancy rate fell from 2.6% to 2.3%. The vacancy rate in Halifax hasn’t been this low since 2003.

As we wrote earlier this month, the 2016 Stat Canada census found that 53,000 Nova Scotians spend more on rent than they can afford. That constitutes 43 percent of all Nova Scotians who rent.

That conclusion was based on a frequently used standard that defines affordable housing as housing and utilities that cost no more than 30 percent of a person’s annual income.

Today’s CMHC numbers will only make things worse.

See above for a table comparing vacancy rates in 2016 and 2017 for several regions in Nova Scotia, courtesy of the CMHC.

And here are the average rents for various types of apartments, again for various Nova Scotia regions.

CMHC also generated a detailed report for urban Halifax. Here are the vacancy rates for different parts of urban Halifax.

And here are the average rents in Halifax, per zone and for various apartment types.

Finally, here is a map of the different zones in Halifax. You need it to make sense of the Halifax data.

There is lots more detail in the CMHC reports. Click here for the Nova Scotia report, or here for the Halifax data.

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