Windsor rental unit availability hits file low, costs up, new report reveals

The availability of rental units in Windsor has hit a record low as prices continue to go up, according to a new report.

Numbers released this week show Windsor’s rental vacancy rate dipped to a record low of 1.8 per cent as of October 2022. The cost for an average two-bedroom rental unit also rose to nearly $1,200, up 3.9 per cent compared with 2021.

The Rental Market Report released on Thursday uses data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

By comparison, the rental vacancy rate was nearly 15 per cent more than a decade ago.

Another area of ​​concern highlighted in the report is related to affordability. Rent prices for new tenants are 20 per cent higher than units already occupied.

Tadiwanashe Mangwengwende is a senior analyst for market insights for the CMHC. He said there’s an increase in demand for rental units, but supply has become a big issue as well.

“The higher cost of homeownership meant that units that would have been made available … weren’t added because some [renters] decided to stay put. Those elements then really compounded the limitation on the supply end, while the demand side continued to grow as the economy began to recover following the easing of pandemic restrictions,” said Mangwengwende.

Tadiwanashe Mangwengwende is a senior economics analyst with CMHC. (Tadiwanashe Mangwengwende)

Last year also marked the first time Mangwengwende began getting an increasing number of reports of rental bidding wars. Historically, that type of behavior was reserved for larger cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, he added.

“It’s a reflection of not only how tight the market is, but how squeezed, particularly low-income households would be if they are trying to enter the market or move,” said Mangwengwende.

He points to major projects such as the electric vehicle battery plant, scheduled to be operational next year, as signs of an upward trajectory that will require more housing.

Ultimately, the biggest solution to address some of these challenges comes down to increasing housing supply, he says.

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