VERNON - There aren’t many places you can rent in Vernon for $645.
Only one residence could be found on Craigslist and Kijiji rental ads since June 1 for $645 or under. For that price, you don’t even get to see pictures of the interior.
But why $645? It’s because a report released last week from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation came up with the number as the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Vernon.
Simple math shows the average rent on Kijiji for a one bedroom basement suite or apartment is closer to $860.
It’s a similar story with two bedroom residences, which the housing corporation pegs at an average rent of $793, but is more like $985 on Kijiji.
Perhaps the greatest discrepancy is in the three or more bedroom category. The housing corporation says that average rent is around $899, but the average we found on online classifieds was $1629.
Annette Sharkey, executive director for the Social Planning Council for the North Okanagan isn’t surprised prices are higher on local classifieds than in the report.
“The CMHA doesn’t measure the market rent,” Sharkey says. “People who have been in an apartment for some time wouldn’t experience the same rent increase as a new renter.”
“Those rents (in report) may be more reasonable, but the market rent is going to be higher.”
She says it’s a challenging housing market for many people with concerning side effects.
“The worry is, if the majority of your wage is going toward your housing cost amount, you’re not going to have a lot left over to buy quality food, quality recreation activities, those quality life pieces,” Sharkey says. “We’re trying to attract young families, housing is going to be a barrier if rents are higher than what they can afford.”
According to the report, Vernon’s vacancy rate shrunk to 4.1 per cent down from 7.7 per cent last April. Fewer options mean the hunt for home sweet home has become a tough one.
Out of the 45 most recent posts on Vernon Kijiji and Craigslist classifieds, 29 ads were for spaces up for rent, while 16 were people looking for a place to call home. Many of the wanted ads sought quiet neighbourhoods where young families could be raised.
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