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Rental rates up in city

Saskatoon rents tops in province: CMHC report

By Jeanette Stewart, The StarPhoenix December 17, 2009

Rental rate increases in Saskatoon are impacting people in two different ways.  Renters are finding home ownership a lot more affordable and desirable than continuing to rent, while others are looking at real estate as a more attractive investment vehicle when compared to other alternatives.  The Star Phoexix reports:

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), Saskatoon this year recorded the third-highest increase of rental rates on record.

Vacancy rates remained unchanged from October 2008 to October 2009, but monthly rents went up an average of $64. In Saskatoon, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment increased to $905 this October from $841 in October 2008, says a CMHC report released Wednesday. Saskatoon has the highest rental costs in the province. 

"If property owners and landlords get the message that demand is very strong and they can increase rent . . . then they will do so, and indeed they have," said Paul Caton, senior market analyst with CMHC.

Historically, there were years without increased rental rates in Saskatoon, he noted.

"Every opportunity that a property owner has to increase his rents to compensate for those previous times when they weren't able to recapture these costs will be taken advantage of," he said.

Caton expects to see continued increases in rental rates, but at a "more moderate rate" than in the 2007 to 2009 period.

"The margin between Saskatchewan and other locations in Canada has narrowed," Caton said.

You can read the entire story here: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/Rental+rates+city/2350046/story.html

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