Nowhere to rent in the Comox Valley

My family moved to the Comox Valley in 2004 and it was very difficult to find a rental unit and buy a home at that time and its only gotten worse since then. So for our elected leaders to say they’re working on it…. well its not fast enough. The Village of Cumberland is waiving building permit fees and plumbing permit fees for six months for homeonwers to convert their non-confirming suite into a confirming, safe suite. Why can’t the City of Courtenay and the Town of Comox offer the same program to their homeowners? Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.


Workers remove siding in preparation for 16 new apartments in downtown Courtenay. The city and the surrounding region boasted the second-lowest primary rental market vacancy on Vancouver Island in 2015. - Spencer Anderson / Echo Staff


The Comox Valley had the lowest rental vacancy rate on Vancouver Island in 2015, according to data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The Valley’s vacancy rate sat at just 0.6 per cent overall, lower than Victoria, which sat at 0.7 per cent.

Only Squamish, which had a vacancy rate of 0.3 per cent, and the City of Nelson, 0.4 per cent, had lower vacancy rates in the rest of the province.

The Valley’s vacancy rate is almost six times lower than Campbell River, more than four times lower than in Nanaimo and almost seven times lower than Duncan.

The CMHC data applies to purpose-built rental units like apartments and row housing. It was recently highlighted in the release of the Comox Valley Vital Signs report last week.

The data also reveals that the vacancy rate in the Comox Valley shrank by almost three quarters between 2014 and 2015, decreasing to 0.5 from 1.8 per cent.

A closer look at the overall vacancy rate reveals more bleak news for the Valley’s renters. One-bedroom units had a vacancy rate of 0.7 per cent, while two-bedroom units sat at 0.3 per cent. Want a three-bedroom unit? Forget it; the vacancy rate was zero.

Translation: of the approximately 2,000 rental units in the Comox Valley, only 10 were vacant in the fall of 2015.

The catch is that the data is a year old, and new data for 2016 – expected to be released in December – could highlight new trends.

But shrinking vacancy rates are a trend across the entire province, including the Island, said CMHC analyst Braden Batch.

“One of the things we noticed in 2016 is there’s been an increase in demand across the market, not just (in) rental,” said Batch.




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