Vacancy Rates


The vacancy rate of units, all bedroom types, in apartments structures with 3+ units, in the purpose-built rental universe, during the month of October.

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

Methods and Limitations:

Geographical areas modified every 5 years to reflect most recent census definitions, therefore, data are not strictly comparable historically.

These data are obtained from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and are provided subject to CMHC Licence Agreement for the Use of Data.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) conducts the annual Rental Market Survey 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 or more. It targets only privately initiated structures with at least 3 rental units, which have been on the market for at least 3 months.

The survey collects market rent levels, availability, turnover and vacancy unit data for all sampled structures. Data is collected using a combination of telephone interviews and site visits. Information is obtained from the:

  • owner
  • manager or
  • building superintendent

The survey is conducted during the first 2 weeks of October and the results reflect market conditions at that time. Note: The April survey was conducted for the last time in 2015. The availability rate was collected between 2005 and 2017 exclusively; this series was discontinued in 2018.

CMHC’s Rental Market Survey provides a snapshot of vacancy and turnover rates and average rents in both new and existing structures. We also provide 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. That is, for both the previous year and the current Rental Market Surveys.


Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, Housing Market Information Portal


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.