With inflation and a steady rise in rent, how does this affect vacancy rates in Fort Saskatchewan?

Jarett Johnson, a local realtor, says that it's hard to find accurate vacancy rate information that's current.

"I use the term 'vacancy rate', but in my head, I think 'What is the rate of properties that are not rented yet?'" Johnson said. "The actual reality is the Fort Saskatchewan rental market is extremely strong and has been for five to fifteen years."

Johnson owns 159 rental properties in Fort Saskatchewan alone. Of these properties, only four of them are vacant. This makes for a vacancy rate of 2.52 per cent.

"Out of the volume and the sample size, that's pretty common and consistent with anyone trying to rent out real estate in Fort Saskatchewan."

Comparing Fort's vacancy rate to the surrounding area: Edmonton has a vacancy rate of 3.11 per cent, while the total average of all his properties comes to around 3.05 per cent.

Johnson says this vacancy rate may come from lower rent costs.

"The average price of units is more affordable in Fort Saskatchewan. The average rental price in Edmonton is $1541, and the average in Fort is $1500," Johnson said. "So, in Edmonton, the rent is a little higher, and the vacancy rate is a little higher."

Despite Fort Saskatchewan costing less, Johnson says that rent is still rising.

"The average rent of a typical three-bedroom duplex in Fort is $1950, last year it was $1900. That same property five years ago would rent out for $1750 a month."

However, Johnson says he believes that prices will be more stable in 2023.

"I feel we've hit a point in the market where we're combining the cost of these rentals with the affordability that a single-family unit has for a unit like that."

The 2022 provincial vacancy rate for a standard three-bedroom unit was 7.9 per cent.