Langford continues to drive rental growth in Greater Victoria: CMHC

Langford continues to drive rental growth in Greater Victoria: CMHC

In Greater Victoria, Langford continues to drive the growth of purpose-built rental units, but the City of Victoria is home to over half the units in the region, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The CMHC’s annual report analyzing the state of the rental market in cities across Canada was released on Jan. 31, and it shows that many municipalities are working to build more rentals, but work still needs to be done.

The report notes that Langford continues to drive the growth in the region.

“New developments in Langford, especially, are driving the rental universe growth in the region, as the city is relatively affordable and development policy is attractive,” the report says. “Langford and Esquimalt are expected to expand their rental universe quickly in the coming 12 to 24 months based on the number of rental units currently under construction.”

In the next two years, the West Shore is expected to increase its number of purpose built rentals by over 40 per cent, followed by Esquimalt’s increase of over 20 per cent, Saanich and Central Saanich of 18 per cent, and Victoria around 10 per cent.

However, despite the growth the West Shore has seen over the years, Victoria still has over half of all purpose-built rentals in the city.

As of October 2023, Victoria had 18,854 purpose-built rentals. In Greater Victoria the region covering Langford, View Royal, Colwood and Sooke comes in second place with 4,145 purpose-built rentals.

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The CMHC’s report looks at purpose-built rental buildings with three or more units that have been on the market for three or more months.

North Saanich has zero units that meet this criteria, but it does have other rentals like laneway homes and rented condominiums that do not meet the criteria to be considered in the report.

Across Greater Victoria, the region’s purpose-built rental stock grew by around five per cent compared to 2022.

“This supply growth continues to be well above the trailing 10-year average of 2.6%, as significant shifts in Victoria’s rental supply began in 2017,” the report says.

However, the average rental price continues to climb. The average price being paid for a two-bedroom in Victoria grew to $1,800 in 2023, kept lower by long-term units being rented out and capped at the annual allowable increase rate set by the provincial government.

“Despite the provincially legislated allowable rent increase of 2% in 2023, rents increased more quickly due primarily to high rental demand. When long-tenured units turn over, their rents increase to better reflect market pricing. Units that experienced turnover in 2023 were 41.5% more expensive than units that didn’t turn over in the CMA,” the report says.

READ MORE: ‘Incredibly stressful time’: Rents continue to rise in Greater Victoria, with low vacancy rates

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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