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Report shows Halifax's 2022 rental vacancy rate second lowest in Canada

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A new report shows the rental market in Nova Scotia has been hit hard with increased demand and short supply.

"We’ve seen that younger people are staying in rentals longer and continue to boost rental demand," says Kelvin Ndoro from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

On Thursday, the CMHC released its yearly report, highlighting Halifax’s rental vacancy rate sits at one per cent, or the second lowest in Canada.

The city's turnover rate is 11 per cent, which is also the second lowest nationwide.

The turnover unit rent hiked 28.9 per cent, while the rent increase to current tenants is up 4.5 per cent – that's the highest in Canada.

As a result, officials say in 2022 the average Halifax two bedroom unit was around $1,449.00, which increased 9.3 per cent.

According to officials, low vacancy rates are a sign construction lacking with population growth.

Between July 2021 and July of 2022, about 28,000 people moved to Nova Scotia.

"Halifax actually had negative interprovincial migration, which means we saw more people leaving to other parts of Nova Scotia then we’re coming here whereas the surrounding areas like East Hants Warden, Kings County, Cumberland for example, Truro has seen an increase in interprovincial migration,” Ndoro says.

Kevin Russell from the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia said he wasn't shocked by the data.

"When the government introduced rent control in Nova Scotia in 2020 we advised government and anyone that would listen that rent control would result in higher rents than pre-rent control,” Russell says.

According to Russell, Nova Scotia’s two per cent cap on rental increases is forcing some property owners to sell.

“That market is going back into single-family home ownership. We’ve done surveys with our members that show that there’s 12,000 units at risk of being sold,” says Russell.

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