People paying rent in Muskoka are paying less than the provincial average.

That’s according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s latest Rental Market Survey. The annual report was released this past Wednesday.

It gives a picture of the rental market across the country and how that scenery may have changed in the last year. The numbers show that the average rent in Ontario is $1,197 a month, which is up from last year by 4.9 per cent.

Here in Muskoka, the average rent for an apartment in Bracebridge is $927 a month, in Gravenhurst, it’s $931, and in Huntsville, it’s $1,001 a month.

Although rents in the area are lower than the provincial average, it’s much more difficult to find a place to live here.

The provincial vacancy rate was up slightly, to 1.8 per cent, compared to 2017, which is still around what the CMHC calls historic lows. In Bracebridge, the vacancy rate is 1.2 per cent overall, zero per cent in Gravenhurst and 0.7 per cent in Huntsville.

The CMHC says demand for rental units is outpacing supply all across Ontario. That demand is being fuelled by an uptick in the job market combined with high levels of international migration and the prices to buy a home continuing to skyrocket. The CMHC only collected data for places that have populations of 10,000 or more.

For comparison, the most expensive places to rent a home in Canada are still Toronto and Vancouver. The average cost of a 2-bedroom condo in Toronto is $2,393 a month, the highest in the country for a condo rental; while a 2-bedroom “purpose-built” rental unit costs $1,649 a month in Vancouver, the highest for that type of home.