They didn’t come often enough, but it certainly beat the annual reports landlords, tenants, policymakers and housing authorities must now rely on. CMHC, let us note, is a federal Crown corporation providing mortgage insurance and various real estate market reports to the public.
It does manage to keep a close monthly eye on housing starts and gives us regular provincial market overviews. But trustworthy, relevant and timely rental market information is severely lacking.
As we have all learned (again) in the last nine months, economies can turn very quickly. The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered that home.
The last report on vacancy rates and rents came in January 2020, comparing October 2018 to October 2019. At the time, CMHC reported that vacancy rates fell from 8.3 to 5.7 per cent, and average rent for a two-bedroom apartment rose slightly from $1,110 to $1,129. That news at this point in the pandemic is so grossly outdated as to be completely useless to anyone, and I am not alone in thinking so.