Vacancy Rate in Seniors’ Residences Stands at 7.4 Per Cent

The vacancy rate for seniors’ residences decreased modestly over the past year, reaching 7.4 per cent in 2016, compared to 8.1 per cent in 2015, according to the Seniors’ Housing Report released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

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.

Report Highlights

  • The survey found that 234,989 seniors lived in the 2,812 residences surveyed.
  • Vacancy rates for all spaces varied across the country, from a high of 12.7% in Newfoundland and Labrador to a low of 2.7% in Manitoba. The national average was 7.4%.
  • Vacancy rates for all spaces in Newfoundland and Labrador (12.7%), Ontario (10.7%), Saskatchewan (9.2%) and Alberta (7.9%) were greater than the national average of 7.4%.
  • Vacancy rates of all spaces in New Brunswick (7.3%), Nova Scotia (7.3%), Quebec (6.6%), Prince Edward Island (6.5%), British Columbia (4.2%) and Manitoba (2.7%) were below the national average.
  • The average rent for bachelor units and private rooms (where at least one meal is included in the rent) rose 5% over the last year, from $2,107 to $2,210 per month.  Among the provinces, Quebec posted the lowest average rents ($1,527) while Ontario posted the highest average rents ($2,978).
  • The increase in the number of senior residents (4.5%) over the year outpaced the increase in the number of available spaces (3.6%), leading to a decrease in the vacancy rate and upward pressure on rent.


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