According to the latest survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the vacancy rate for standard spaces remained relatively stable over the past year. The rate was measured at 7.3 per cent in February, compared to 7.5 per cent at the same time in 2014. The present rate is nonetheless lower than that of two years ago (8.7 per cent in 2013).
"This stability of the seniors’ home market stems from marginal growth in demand and supply," explains Kevin Hughes, Regional Economist at CMHC for Quebec. "On the demand side, population growth in the 75 year and over age group was rather weak according to the latest statistics. This group constitutes the main client base for seniors’ homes. Moreover, the share of the population aged 75 years and over living in a residence (known as the capture rate) remained virtually stable this year," indicates Hughes. "As for supply of spaces, it increased in similar proportion to demand," adds Kevin Hughes.
As in past years, the vacancy rate remained higher for rooms and Bachelor units (approximately 10 and 9 per cent respectively) than for one- and two-bedroom apartments (5.6 and 4.2 per cent respectively).
The average rent for all standard spaces rose from $1,556 in 2014 to $1,601 in 2015. The average rent for private room spaces was estimated at $1,521. At just under $1,300 per month, on average, bachelor units were again the least expensive market segment.
Among Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA), again this year, the Québec CMA presented the tightest seniors’ market in the province. The regions’ vacancy rate decreased as well, coming in at 4.9 per cent this year, compared to 5.7 per cent in 2014.
"After having stagnated during the course of the last several years, a significant rebound in demand is expected shortly. In fact, according to the latest demographic projections, growth in the population aged 75 years and over will accelerate starting in 2016. Even if one allows for a hypothetical drop in the capture rate, the magnitude of the phenomenon is such that a notable increase in demand is to be expected," concludes Kevin Hughes.