Vacancy Rate in Seniors’ Residences Reaches 8.1 Per Cent

The vacancy rate for seniors’ residences decreased over the past year, reaching 8.1 per cent in 2015, compared to 8.7 per cent in 2014, according to the Seniors’ Housing Report – Canada Highlights released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

“As was the case in 2014, the increase in the total number of spaces for seniors in 2015 was slightly outpaced by an increase in the total number of residents,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC. “This led to a decrease in the overall vacancy rate in 2015.”

Our survey makes the distinction between two types of spaces: standard and non-standard spaces. Standard spaces are those occupied by a resident paying market rent and who does not receive 1.5 or more hours of care per day. A non-standard space is one in which the residents are receiving at least 1.5 hours of care per day, spaces being used for respite and non-market spaces.

Vacancy rates for standard spaces varied across the country, from a high of 12.1 per cent in Ontario to a low of 4.6 per cent in Manitoba. The vacancy rates for standard spaces in Saskatchewan (10.6 per cent) and British Columbia (9.1 per cent) were above the national average of 8.9 per cent. The rates in Newfoundland and Labrador (8.5 per cent), Alberta (8.1 per cent), Nova Scotia (7.9 per cent) and Québec (7.3 per cent) were below the national average.

Across the country, the average rent for bachelor units and private rooms, where at least one meal is included in the rent, rose by 3.1 per cent, to $2,107 per month in 2015, compared to $2,043 in 2014. The highest average rent was recorded in Ontario ($2,815), and the lowest, in Quebec ($1,521).

According to the Survey, 224,962 seniors lived in the 2,794 residences surveyed. Across the country, there were 224,342 spaces in these residences, with the vast majority (73.8 per cent) being standard spaces.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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