Available rentals in Halifax this year were a little less plentiful than last. As a whole, Halifax's vacancy rate continued its downward trend to 2.6% this year, compared to 2.9% last. In case you're keeping track, that's the lowest vacancy rate in the last 8 years. Nova Scotia's average vacancy rate dipped to 2.9%, compared to 3.1% last year.
The decrease in available rentals is attributed to a growing population and a presently stagnant development industry, still reeling from the 2008 financial collapse. Further compounding the shortage is a greater reluctance of people to move into their first homes, instead electing to save money and rent for a little bit longer.
And while the number of available apartments fell, the average cost of rent in Nova Scotia's capital rose by 2.9% this year. The average price of a two bedroom rental in Halifax is now $891. In the South End, the average price for a two bedroom is $1,282, with an average vacancy rate of just 0.8% (vs 1.3% last year). The average cost for a two bedroom rental across Nova Scotia was $851.
Clayton Park rentals had the second lowest vacancy rate at 1.1%, down from 1.6% during the same period last year. Dartmouth rentals were a little easier to find, but still saw a sharp drop to 3.7% from 5% last year.
Luckily, relief is in sight. New apartment developments are now in the works, which should raise Halifax's rental capacity in 2011. The Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation predicts that this will raise Halifax's vacancy rate back up to 3% (+0.4%).
If you're looking for a Halifax apartment in the next year, you'd be best advised to plan for an aggressive rental strategy, which of course should include Rent Donkey. Demand will remain strong throughout the year, with the most desirable South End apartments going first. We recommend you start your rental search at least 3 months in advance to provide lots of time, and act quickly when a rental comes up. Sign up for our Rental Alerts to ensure you are notified as soon as a property comes on the market, and then follow-up with the landlord right away.
Let's hope for a happy renting New Year!