NORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – The apartment rental market across the North Island is feeling the squeeze.

Vacancy rates fluctuate between 0.4 and 1.4 percent in the Comox Valley, Campbell River, and Powell River, according to statistics from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Up-to-date vacancy rates for apartments are:

Campbell River – 0.4 percent

City of Courtenay Р0.6 percent

Town of Comox –¬†1.1 percent

Powell River – 1.4 percent

The Courtenay CMA (which is the whole Courtenay-Comox Valley region) is 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, according to the Canadian Rental Housing Index, the Comox Valley is considered “severely unaffordable” with 66 percent of household income spent on rent and utilities.

It’s more of the same with the Strathcona District, at 58 percent and Powell River, at 59 percent.

Nationwide rental rates plunge

Across the country, rentals are in high demand.

A CMHC report yesterday shows that increases in international migration and youth employment, along with population aging has caused demand for rental housing to rise. This growth outpaced growth in supply nationally.

As a result, the overall vacancy rate for rental apartments in Canada fell to 2.4 percent.

Ontario (1.8 percent versus 1.6 percent in 2017) and British Columbia (1.4 percent versus 1.3 percent in 2017) saw their vacancy rates increase slightly, while remaining amongst the lowest in the country.