The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has confirmed that many people are already struggling with finding a home to rent in Kingston – it's virtually impossible to find a rental house in the city. According to CMHC, Kingston's vacancy rate is the lowest in Ontario for the second year in a row, and has reached record low of 0.6%.
CMHC says that after a significant tightening of the rental market conditions in 2017, the vacancy rate in the Kingston area declined even further to 0.6% from 0.7% a year ago, as the demand for rental properties continued to increase more than supply. According to the CMHC report, the vacancy rate fell for the third year running, reaching its lowest level since 1989.
Kingston has a history of relatively tight rental market conditions, says CMHC. Its 10-year average vacancy rate sits at 1.6%, compared with Ontario's 2.4%. For the second year in a row, Kingston recorded the lowest vacancy rate among all 16 trailed metropolitan areas across Ontario. In fact, says the CMHC, the number of vacant units would need to increase almost three times based on their 2018 figure, in order to bring the purpose-built apartment vacancy rate back to its 10-year average of 1.6%.
The CMHC also noted that, as a result of the tightening market, the average rental has risen by 2.7% in Kingston over the past year, to an average of $ 1181 per month. Bachelor apartments had a vacancy rate of 1.2% and an average rental of $ 745, and one bedroom had an vacancy rate of 0.5% and rented for an average of $ 1,008. Two bedrooms had a vacancy rate of 0.6% and an average rent of $ 1,200, while units with three or more bedrooms had only a vacancy rate of 0.1% and an average rent of $ 1,998.
CMHC says that among all the city districts, Northern Kingston (Rideau Heights, Grenville / Hillendale, Kingscourt and Strathcona Park) has registered the lowest vacancy rate. The vacancy rate in this area declined for the third consecutive year to the all-time low of 0.4% and was the lowest among all submarkets. During the last three years, only 17 units or 7% of the total new additions occurred in this particular area, said CMHC.