KELOWNA - A local property manager says rental websites like Padmapper are doing a disservice to people moving to the Central Okanagan who think they’re going to find affordable rental housing.
James McCullough of Kendall Property management says he intends to fix that with the quarterly release of rental rates he says more accurately reflect the rental housing rates in Kelowna, not only downtown but in other parts of the city as well.
“People are moving into the area looking for places that are much cheaper than they really are. Locals laugh when they hear new people say they want a two-bedroom place for $900 a month, utilities included,” McCullough says.
In its first ever rental survey of markets across Canada, Padmapper pinned the median price in Kelowna at $900 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,360 for a two-bedroom apartment.
His own analysis, using select listings from local classifieds and weighted to exclude certain categories of housing, shows an average price in Kelowna of $1,198 for a one-bedroom apartment and just shy of $1,600 for a two-bedroom.
If you want to drill down deeper, he also includes average prices for three- to five-bedroom houses and breaks out the averages for downtown, Glenmore/UBCO, Rutland, the Mission and West Kelowna.
McCullough says rental listings sites like Padmapper, very popular in some markets, don't have enough listings locally to properly evaluate the Kelowna market.
“That’s why they go by a median price instead of an average,” he explains.
His own take on the rental housing market in Kelowna is there’s places to be had for singles and couples, but the market tightens considerably for those with kids and pets.
“A lot of people are looking and they have a couple of kids and maybe some dogs. It’s tougher for them. I have a place in Westbank sitting empty for the last month. If the owner allowed pets it would be gone in a couple of days,” he says.
McCulloch isn’t sure how long the rental crunch will last but he plans to update his rental averages graph every three months with data compiled weekly.
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