Rent and vacancy rates rise

Both on campus and throughout the city, rent prices continue to increase as vacancy climbs

Calgary’s rental market is experiencing a rise of suites available to tenants, but that has not reduced the cost of rent.

Over the past year, the vacancy rate for rental units has increased from 1.4 per cent to 5.3 per cent, shooting past the average national vacancy rate of 3.5 per cent.

On campus, 2.3 per cent of residence units were not occupied last year, and the current year is at 2.8 per cent, but increased occupancy does not immediately translate into reduced rates.

“Every year before rates are proposed to [SAIT’s] board of directors, we do a market evaluation, by surveying the market competitors,” said Melanie Simmons, public relations specialist.

“After evaluating the data, we propose rates along with the market survey data as our research tool.”

SAIT’s first residence building, Owasina Hall, is currently coming down floor-by-floor.

The 22-storey building opened in 1972 has not been occupied since 2006.

It will become a surface parking lot once the demolition is complete.

Plans for a new residence building in the northeast corner of campus will create more residence spaces on campus, but Simmons said it is too early to determine if vacancy or rates on campus will be impacted once construction is complete.

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