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Yellowknife rents climb

David Ryan
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 22/06) - Apartment dwellers here may not have a difficult time finding a new place to live, but it's going to cost them.

That's according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) latest Yellowknife rental market report released last week.

Apartment vacancy rates remained the same as last year, idling at 3.3 per cent in 2006, said Sandra Turner, NWT corporate representative for CMHC.

Nationally, the vacancy rate for 2006 is pegged at 2.6 per cent.

Two bedroom apartments had the lowest vacancy rate in the city coming in at 2.4 per cent while one bedroom apartments were the most available with a 4.5 per cent vacancy rate.

While the rate was the same, the statistics could be slightly misleading as 110 new units became available in during 2006, she added.

"If it wasn't for the new apartments, the vacancy rate may have been much lower," said Turner.

"We've satisfied some pent up demand."

With less residential construction going on in the city and De Beers Canada's Snap Lake mine ready to go online, Turner said that the picture could change dramatically next year.

Construction companies are building housing units in southern markets where demand is greater, she said.

"There are more attractive places due to the cost of the project and the skilled labour force," she said.

The average price to rent an apartment this year was $1,265 compared to $1,208 in 2005, said Turner.

Two bedroom rental units had the highest jump of 4.7 per cent. In 2005 a two bedroom apartment cost $1,302 compared to $1,365 in 2006.

At Yellowknife Dairies, rental fees for apartments will increase beginning on Jan. 1, said property manager Jennifer Eggenberger.

That will be the only increase in 2007.

"Our rents won't go up (again) for another 12 months," she said.

With an increase in the price of water, fuel and general inflation, she said it was necessary to increase the price of rent in the rental units.

Prices for the company's 60 units will increase between $40 to $100 depending on the size of each unit, she said.

Rent will also increase in the new year at apartments owned by the T.C. Group of Companies, said account manager Jose Talentino.

The company which has several builds around town, including Solar Apartments, The Executive Ltd., Lundstrom Terrace and Bartesko Apartments, increased rent due to market conditions, he said.