The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation released the vacancy rates for spring 2012, and Prince Rupert has the highest in the province among communities over 10,000 people.
The vacancy rate for apartments in Prince Rupert in April was 13.5 per cent, the highest in the province and one of only three communities with double-digit vacancy along with Quesnel at 12.2 per cent and Williams Lake at 10.7 per cent. The apartment vacancy rate is down from last April when the vacancy rate sat at 14.4 per cent. Of note, while bachelor, one bedroom and two bedroom aparements all had a vacancy rate in the double-digits, the vacancy rate for apartments with at least three bedrooms was just 4.6 per cent.
The provincial average for communities over 10,000 population is 3.4 per cent.
With the vacancy rate going down slightly, the average rent went up compared to last year. The average rent in Prince Rupert last April was $599, while this year that number increased to $624. Prince Rupert also had the third biggest increase in average rent at 3.5 per cent, behind Fort St. John and Dawson Creek.
The provincial average for renting an apartment is $929.
When townhouses are considered into the rental equation, Prince Rupert still had the highest vacancy rate in the province at 12 per cent, ahead of Quesnel at 10.5 per cent vacancy. The average rent rose from $604 last April to $627 this year, the third highest jump in the province again at 3.3 per cent.
In contrast, with townhouses being considered, Terrace has a vacancy rate of 3.2 per cent, below the provincial average of 3.4 per cent, and rent is slightly higher at $645.