Kelowna News

Fewer rentals available in Thompson-Okanagan as prices rise

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THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – It's getting harder to find an apartment to rent in most Thompson-Okangan cities, and those that are available cost significantly more than they did one year ago.

Kelowna and Kamloops saw minor adjustments in rental availability rates this year compared with the B.C. average. Between April 2014 and April 2015, the provincial average dropped from 2.4 per cent to 1.8 per cent but Kelowna dropped only 0.4 per cent to 1.9 while Kamloops stayed the same at 5.1 per cent.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation numbers, Penticton rates dropped the most in the region, to 1.6 per cent compared to 2.9 per cent in 2014. Vernon had a relatively minor shift, moving to 3.4 per cent from 4.1 per cent.

CMHC's B.C. Regional Economist Carol Frketich says vacancy rates across most of the province moved lower this spring as increased rental demand outpaced additions to rental supply.

"Most of the province's 27 centres surveyed in April reported lower vacancy rates compared to a year earlier,” she says. “Apartment vacancy rates ranged from 1.0 per cent in Parksville to 8.9 per cent in Dawson Creek."

The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in B.C. in April 2015 was $1,136 per month and the one-bedroom apartment average rent was $973 per month. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Kelowna saw less change than the provincial average, moving to $998 in 2015 from $964 last year. Penticton and Kamloops rose to $852 from $800 and Vernon rose to $811 from $794.

The average cost to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver rose to $1.345 this year, up from $1,274 in 2014.

The numbers are based on a Rental Market Survey conducted twice a year in April and October, to provide vacancy, availability and rent information in Canadian cities with populations of 10,000 or more.

Reports are released in June and December.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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