Kelowna hardest city in Canada to rent a home | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna hardest city in Canada to rent a home

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

KELOWNA – It’s harder to find a place to rent in Kelowna than in any other city in Canada.

In the last year the rental availability rate in the country’s 22nd largest city dropped from an already low .4 per cent to .2. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation lists it as the lowest in Canada, tied with Abbotsford-Mission. A vacancy rate of four per cent is generally considered healthy. 

Victoria’s availability rate is .6 per cent, while Vancouver is .9.

Kelowna also had the biggest jump in rent, with average costs increasing 8.6 per cent to $1,043.

“Strong demand for rental housing in the past two years has resulted in low vacancies in the purpose-built rental and rental apartment condominium markets,” the report says.

According to the Rental Market Survey conducted in October, continued tightness in the rental market can be attributed to a variety of factors. A significant increase in rental housing demand outpacing supply, the rising cost of homeownership relative to rents, rising enrolment in post-secondary institutions, strong population growth and growing employment opportunities for young people are all likely contributors.

The vacancy rate in Penticton also dropped slighly to .9 per cent from 1.1 per cent in 2016.

Earlier this year the City of Kelowna released the results of its own housing study, showing close to one-third of renters spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing. Median house prices have nearly tripled over the past 15 years, but incomes have less than doubled. The cost to buy an average detached home in Kelowna is expected to climb past $1 million by 2040.

7,500 new units are planned for the next five years, and that trend will have to continue if the city hopes to get the 23,000 to 25,000 new homes needed over the next 20 years.

The Rental Market Survey is conducted every year in October in order to estimate strengths in the rental market. The survey is conducted on a sample basis in all urban areas with populations of 10,000 and more. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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