Although average vacancy rates for independent living suites in Canada have gone up in the past year, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) says analysts are expecting a bigger demand for senior housing as the baby boomer generation continues to age.
CMHC recently released its annual Seniors’ Housing Report, which looked at 14,392 independent living suites, and also 12,278 seniors’ housing units made up of heavy care units, respite beds, and subsidized units. The vacancy rates of the units surveyed rose to 11.5% in February 2011, up from 10.4% a year previously.
“Seniors’ housing operators are anticipating an increase in demand for seniors’ housing as the housing needs of people in the baby-boomer cohort shift to supportive living,” notes Sarena Teakles, CMHC Market Analyst. “New seniors’ complexes are being built throughout the province, however at the current time there is a higher than anticipated number of vacant units resulting in an higher overall vacancy rate.”
Teakle went on to say the report shows a trend for seniors to choose to live in seniors’ housing complexes with different types and levels of services, and as Canada’s senior population continues to expand, it seems likely demand for senior housing will increase.
CMHC says average rent levels for independent living suites vary by region, with high rents in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island/Central Coast regions; price-influencing factors include land cost and the differences in the cost of services and amenities.
Written by Alyssa Gerace