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Canada’s smallest capital has most expensive shelter

November 4, 2020

Photo credit: Designedux

It is more expensive to rent a home or buy a townhouse in Nunavut’s capital (and only) city, that in any other capital city in Canada.
Rental vacancy rate is near zero in Iqaluit and the average monthly rent is currently $2,668. In Canada’s coldest and smallest capital ­– population of about 8,000 – a typical townhouse sells for $590,000, according to the Northern Housing Report 2020, released October 30 by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).
In comparison, the average rent in Canada’s most expensive capitals ranges from $995 in Quebec City, $1,482 in Ottawa and $1,600 in Victoria to $2,219 in Toronto.
Townhouses are more expensive in the other capitals, but all housing in Iqaluit is on leased land which makes residential sale prices hard to compare with freehold ownership. The city’s composite home price of $550,000 is lower than the national composite average of $604,000, but higher than in all Prairie provinces and in Atlantic Canada.
"Land availability and labour shortages continue to be a challenge in creating new house developments throughout the region," the CMHC report stated.
Just one multi-family rental apartment building with 36 units and less than 10 homes were built in Iqaluit in 2019, according to CMHC. 
Iqaluit is a government-controlled city A full 91 per cent of the those employed in Iqaluit work for the federal, territorial or civic government, by far the highest percentage of public servants in the country. More than 56 per cent of the employed work for the federal government.

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