Estevan's rental vacancy rate improved slightly in October, according to the most recent report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which was released on Thursday.
The vacancy rate was 1.8 per cent. Six months ago, when the last report was released, CMHC said that there weren't any available rental properties in Estevan.
It was at six-tenths of a per cent in October of 2012.
"The addition of work camps helped alleviate the pressure on vacancies experienced in this centre," CMHC reported.
Estevan has a 4.2 per cent vacancy rate for bachelor suites (compared with zero per cent a year ago), a 4.1 per cent rate for one-bedroom suites (compared with 1.2 per cent in October of 2012), and zero available two-bedroom apartments. (The two-bedroom vacancy rate was four-tenths of a per cent last year).
The data for three-bedroom apartment availability was not released.
Weyburn now owns the dubious distinction of having the lowest vacancy rate of 1.5 per cent.
The provincial average was three per cent.
"Low vacancies in many areas across the province have prompted the construction of rental units, thus increasing rental supply in some centres over the previous year," CMHC said.
But Estevan still has the highest rent in the province.
"The average two-bedroom apartment rent in urban centres was $998 per month in October 2013, ranging from $755 in Swift Current to $1,175 in Estevan," the report said.
The average rental rate for a bachelor suite was $740 a month, compared with $657 a year earlier. For one-bedroom apartments, it was $1,031 a month (compared with $944). Two bedrooms were at $1,175 ($1,111 a year ago), and three bedrooms were at $1,262 ($1,101).
The city's overall average rent cost was $1,106 a month, compared with $1,030 a month the previous year.
Estevan also recorded the largest year-over-year increase in Saskatchewan at 9.1 per cent.
According to CMHC, rising rents have encouraged some tenants to purchase homes, putting upward pressure on vacancies.
Finally, the survey found that the total number of available rental properties in Estevan decreased from 511 in October 2012 to 508 in October 2013. The number of bachelor suites dropped from 25 to 24, and two-bedroom apartments decreased from 283 to 280.
One-bedroom apartments remained the same at 171, and three-bedroom accommodations increased from 32 to 33.
CMHC releases its rental market update twice each year. The next survey will happen in April of 2014, and it will be released about two months later.