Rooms for Rent

See what’s happening in the rental market.

Between October 2013 and October 2014, Calgary’s vacancy rate went up 40%. That sounds significant but only represents a marginal improvement from 1.0% to 1.4%. Despite the increase, there remains very limited rental space available in the city given the new and improved vacancy rate is still less than half of the Canadian average of 3.0%.

The City and the development and homebuilding industry are working together to add to the availability of rental properties in Calgary. Unfortunately, Calgary is playing catch-up after years of extraordinary population growth. Even as oil prices fall, there’s still a steady upward swing in new residents seeking homes.

Construction of rental units is up, too, in response to demand. In December of 2014, there were 1384 units under construction in the Calgary Region, up from 300 units just six months prior. New projects are being created with renters in mind vs. investors who buy units and then rent them in the secondary market. Here are a few examples of what’s coming:

9th Avenue SW, 1,900 units in Downtown West End.

Maple Projects Tower, 137 units in Windsor Park SW.

Telus Sky, 326 units downtown.

And most recently, a 221-unit rental high-rise was announced for construction in the East Village.

In a Calgary Herald article, Brian Burton spoke with Gerry Baxter, executive director with the landlords’ group, Calgary Residential Renters Association. Baxter says while a “balanced market” is between two and three percent, we are headed in the right direction:

“Landlords are still managing to rent out their units, but they’re not being swamped by calls, which they were a year ago.”

Baxter goes on to describe Calgary as the “smallest rental universe of any major city in Canada” at 34,000 units. Edmonton has nearly twice that.

Brand new rental units will be popping up all around the Calgary Region, and they should have no shortage of renters ready to move in. The latest Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Housing Market Outlook Report forecasts a strong rental market through the next couple of years, predicting a healthy vacancy rate of 1.8% by the end of 2016. 

March 26th, 2015
Updated: September 14th, 2017

Rentals are hard to come by in Calgary. Here's why that is changing.