Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nelson rental market remains tight

By Greg Nesteroff - Nelson Star

Renters in Nelson can expect to pay an average of $776 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, according to the latest market survey by the Nelson Committee on Homelessness.

The organization conducts a snapshot each spring and fall of rental prices in the city.
Recently-hired coordinator Katie Tabor says the new figures are “quite similar” to last year’s.
“If somebody’s living in a place, there are rent controls around how much it can go up if they continue to live there,” she says. “But once a place opens up, the landlord has discretion over what to charge.”
The average price for a two-bedroom suite was $1,038 and for three bedrooms, $1,320, the survey found.
Conducted over a week in early September, it relied on ads in the Nelson Star and Pennywise, websites including craigslist, kijiji, and discovernelson, plus Coldwell Banker’s rental list, and calls to apartment buildings.
Suites, apartments, and homes within city limits were included in the survey.
In total, they found three bachelor suites, ranging from $550 to $650 per month; 16 single-bedroom apartments going for $625 to $1,000; 19 two-bedroom apartments between $700 to $1,300, and 18 three-bedroom apartments for $950 to $1,650. Some prices included utilities, but most didn’t.
The figures are comparable to last spring’s survey, which pegged one-bedroom rents at an average $850, and two and three bedrooms at $1,000 and $1,500, respectively.
A Canadian Mortgage and Housing rental market survey of the southern interior conducted a year ago found slightly lower figures for Nelson — an average of $542 for a bachelor suite, $610 for one bedroom, $719 for two bedrooms, and $1,007 for three bedrooms.
However, it only looked at apartments in buildings of three or more units, and included prices for currently rented units, which Tabor says may reflect units held by the same tenants for a long time.
“In comparison, the numbers in the September snapshot from our office reflect the cost of rentals actually available on the market, and the prices are much higher,” she says.
Even so, the CMHC report found rentals in Nelson were the highest in West Kootenay. In Castlegar, the average one-bedroom rented for $565 per month and in Greater Trail (not counting Rossland), $512.
Only Revelstoke had even higher rents, with one bedrooms going for $690 per month and two bedrooms $902.
Nelson’s vacancy rate was also the lowest by far at 1.8 per cent in 2010, compared to 19.5 per cent in Revelstoke, 11.8 per cent in Rossland, and 5.4 per cent in Cranbrook.

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