Newer rental units harder to find in Oak Bay

Owner pleased to add to local rental stock

Newer rental units with amenities such as elevators, washing machines and

dishwashers are hard to come by in Oak Bay, said Rob Hunter, president of Devon Properties, a property management company.

Devon Properties manages the Clive, a rental apartment building in Oak Bay. The Clive is currently being completely rebuilt.

When finished, it will be one of the few newer rental buildings in Oak Bay.

“There is a good pool of older rentals, but new accessible rentals are almost non-existent,” said Nicole Roberts, owner of JN Development group, the company that owns the Clive.

Roberts said the company felt it was necessary to keep the Clive as a rental to accommodate the needs of the community.

“It’s important because it’s regenerating and increasing rental housing that will service a variety of different people and families,” said Roberts. “It’s responsible to add to rentals instead of taking away.”

The new Clive building will have three storeys as opposed to the previous two storeys, and 17 units as opposed to the previous eight units. Units will include one bedroom, one bedroom plus a den and two bedroom suites.

The Clive is projected to reopen in October 2015. There is already a 50-person waiting list to rent the 17 suites.

In Oak Bay, two-bedroom suites are rented out quickly, said Courtney Rodash, property manager of David Burr Property Management. On the other hand, he said one-bedroom apartments are usually more likely to be vacant.

“Mainly because of affordability … people prefer to share a two-bedroom,” said Rodash.

However, those looking for bachelor suites will not have much luck in Oak Bay, due to the fact that older houses not having been built with them, he said.

“[Bachelor suites] are in demand, but there are not many available in houses.”

In general, for rental apartments and houses, Rodash said the vacancy rate is two per cent or less in Oak Bay.

As for turnover rates in rental units, Rodash said Oak Bay is more stable than other parts of Greater Victoria.

“People want to be near the beaches,” he said. “(It’s) conducive to seniors and students.”

Despite the high demand, Rodash said rent is generally not any higher than elsewhere in Victoria.