The mortgage rate for an apartment in Vernon is 1.9 per cent.

The mortgage rate for an apartment in Vernon is 1.9 per cent.

Vacancy rate stagnates in Vernon, but rent up slightly

The vacancy rate for an apartment in October was 1.9 per cent, unchanged from the same month in 2015.

Vernon’s rental market remains challenging.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports that the overall vacancy rate for an apartment in October was 1.9 per cent, unchanged from the same month in 2015.

‘It’s a real concern,’ said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

The rate varies according to the type of housing being sought.

For a bachelor suite, the vacancy rate is 1.2 per cent while it climbs to 1.4 per cent for a one-bedroom unit and 2.5 per cent for a two-bedroom unit, but drops to 1.2 per cent for a three-bedroom suite.

But while the vacancy rate remained steady, the cost of housing has increase slightly in Vernon.

‘We’re seeing more people deciding if they pay for rent or food,’ said Cunningham.

‘Social assistance rates haven’t increased.’

CMHC reports that the average rent for an apartment in October was $83, up from $747 a year ago.

Cunningham says the city is working with developers to endure housing exists.

‘All we can hope is we increase the rental inventory and that will level the playing field so rents don’t rise,’ she said

Elsewhere in the region, the vacancy rate for an apartment in October was 0.6 per cent in Kelowna, 1.1 per cent in Kamloops and 0.5 per cent in Salmon Arm.