Students finding apartments despite low vacancies – The London Free Press

Despite the lowest apartment vacancy rate in almost two decades, Western and Fanshawe students aren’t having much trouble finding a place to live as the fall term approaches.

The latest survey from the

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) pegged the apartment vacancy rate for the metro London area at 1.8 per cent.

But Glenn Matthews, the off-campus housing mediator for both Western University and Fanshawe College, said the supply of two and three bedroom units most favoured by student renters is consistent with previous years.

But he said the number of one-bedroom apartments is significantly tighter this year.

Matthews said the 1.8 per cent vacancy rate is lower than it has been for a while but he can recall in the early 80s when it was down to 0.3 per cent.

He said students sharing an apartment are typically paying about $500-$575 plus utilities as their share of the monthly rent.

“The closer you get to campus and bus routes the higher it gets.”

Matthews said Western mounted an aggressive campaign to build student residences to guarantee a residence room to all first year students. About four years ago Western completed the 1,000-bed Ontario Hall residence on Sarnia Road.

“There is no doubt it helped the market significantly,” said Matthews.

Matthews said the building of more residences has allowed more second and third year are choosing to stay in residence.

At Fanshawe, the construction of The Residence on First, a large private apartment built across the street from the main campus about three years ago has boosted the supply of student housing,