Average Vacancy Rates


Average vacancy rates for bachelor, one-bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom units in all row and apartment structures (3+ Units)

The average vacancy rate is defined as units that were unoccupied and available to rent but no lease was signed yet in October.

Methods and Limitations:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) conducts the Rental Market Survey (RMS) every year in October to estimate the relative strengths in the rental market. The survey is conducted on a sample basis in all urban areas with populations of 10,000 and more. The survey targets only privately initiated rental structures with at least three rental units, which have been on the market for at least three months. The survey collects market rent levels, turnover and vacancy unit data for all sampled structures. The survey is conducted by a combination of telephone interviews and site visits, and information is obtained from the owner, manager, or building superintendent. The survey is conducted during the month of October, and the results reflect market conditions at that time. CMHC is constantly reviewing the Universe of rental structures in the rental market Universe to ensure that it is as complete as possible. Every year, any newly completed rental structures with at least 3 rental units are added to the Universe. In addition to this, CMHC undertakes comprehensive reviews by comparing the Universe listing to other sources of data to ensure that the list of structures is as complete as possible. CMHC’s Rental Market Survey provides a snapshot of vacancy and turnover rates and average rents in both new and existing structures. There also exists a measure for the change in rent that is calculated based on existing structures only. The estimate is based on structures that were common to the survey sample for both the previous and the current Rental Market Surveys. The change in rent in existing structures is an estimate of the change in rent that the landlords charge and removes compositional effects on the rent level movement due to new buildings, conversions, and survey sample rotation. The estimate of percent change in rent is available in all Canada and Provincial Highlights publications, and also in the CMA reports. The rent levels in new and existing structures are also published. While the percent change in rents in existing structures published in the reports are statistically significant, changes in rents that one might calculate based on rent levels in new and existing structures may or may not be statistically significant.

CMHC does not publish an estimate (e.g. Vacancy Rates and Average Rents) if the reliability of the estimate is too low or the confidentiality rules are violated. The ability to publish an estimate is generally determined by its statistical reliability, which is measured using the coefficient of variation (CV). CV of an estimate is defined as the ratio of the standard deviation to the estimate and CV is generally expressed a percentage.


Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 2021. Housing Market Information Portal

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 2021. Rental Market Report: Canada and Select Markets


Average Vacancy Rates in the Sustainable Development Goals

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11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically.

However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure.

The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. The future we want includes cities of opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.