Ok, the title is a shameless plug for a great band. The Apartment Vacancy and Rental Cost Survey put out by the Alberta government’s Municipal Affairs department is only slightly less awesome. What is it? Here’s a quote from their introduction.
Since 1973, (with the exception of 2004), the Province of Alberta has conducted an annual Apartment Vacancy and Rental Cost Survey (AVS) of multi-family dwellings in Alberta’s rural communities. The survey identifies building type and age, unit type, number of units, rental rates, and the number of vacancies of private market rental units in rural communities. The eligibility criteria used in selecting communities for the survey are those with:
- A population between 1,000 and 9,999;
- Thirty or more rental units; and
- The community is not included in the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) bi-annual Rental Market Survey.
Each year the number of communities surveyed by the AVS may differ due to changes in population or the number of rental units in the community. In 2013, the Town of Millet was added to the survey as they qualified with a population over 1,000 people and over 30 eligible rental units.
That’s great news if you’re like me and have listings or buyers working in Swan Hills, Tofield, Vegreville, Edson, St. Paul and Wainwright. CMHC’s numbers are helpful, but they don’t cover the small towns. In a small town the name of the game is risk reduction and having real data is key to ensuring you’re making logical, informed and impartial decisions.
There’s some pretty wild extremes in small towns, and that can mean big things for your income or pure disaster! And here’s just one data series from the report (picked Athabasca because it’s the first alphabetically) together with a sparklines chart.
Here’s links to a handful of interesting extracts directly from the Government’s website. I have the full report so if you’re looking for info, give me a call.
- Number of Rental Units Identified and Survey Response Rates
- Weighted Average Rent and Rental Range by Type of Unit
- Number of Vacancies and Vacancy Rates by Type of Unit
- Weighted Rents by Bedroom Type and Overall Vacancy Rates by Community
- Report Highlights
I’m finding this $15 book of numbers hugely useful and I’m sure if you have or are considering buying properties in rural Alberta it’ll help you too.