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Despite record growth in new rental apartment units last year – projections show the supply of units falling short of the demand. Council’s Growth Committee heard 288 new rental units came online in 2020 – the highest number of new units since 1977 – with 52% of unit growth last year occurring in the uptown.

Figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Annual Rental Market Study show vacancy rates have dropped from 3.3% to 3.1% with the highest demand for one and three bedroom units. The Growth Committee heard three bedroom plus units are most in demand by new immigrants who typical have larger families.

The increased demand appears to be driven by population growth from immigration and baby boomers down sizing. Meantime – rents increased 3.5% in the city last year compared to 2019 to an average of $787 – cheaper than 90% of other Canadian cities. It is anticipated the demand for rentals will drive rent increases until enough new units come online to reduce the market pressure.

Three new apartment developments in the city centre and one east are scheduled for completion later this year. At least two other proposals for rental developments in the Millidgeville area are in various stages of development.