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Newcomers to Kelowna more likely to be renters: City report

March 05, 2020 - 5:07 PM

The City of Kelowna’s annual housing report shows 1,500 new rental units came on stream in 2019 triggered by demand as 73 per cent of newcomers to the city between 2011 and 2016 were renters.

Still, 65 per cent of the rental units in Kelowna were built before 1980. That generally means rents are cheaper: $1,100 to $1,250 for two-bedroom units built before 2004 versus $1,600 to $1,800 for newer ones.

The older rental buildings tend to be smaller, 20 to 40 units, and often need renovation in order to compete with the new spaces, which tend to be in four to five storey buildings with 70 to 100 units.

Even so, roughly 47 per cent of renter households are in core housing need, the report says, meaning they’re spending more than 30 per cent of monthly income on their shelter costs.

For those buying, the biggest share of the buyers (44 per cent) were paying $400,000 to $700,000.

With median single family house prices rising by $240,000 since 2013, that has pushed the median cost of a single-family home in 2019 to $681,766.

So, buyers looking for more affordable homes gravitated to condos and townhouse, which accounted of 38 per cent of home sales.

The median price for townhouses was $466,110 with condos selling at $355,700.

The report will be presented to Kelowna city council on Monday, March 9.

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