Vacancy rate gets worse in Kelowna as rent rises - InfoNews

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Vacancy rate gets worse in Kelowna as rent rises

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November 29, 2016 - 11:57 AM

KELOWNA – The rental situation in Kelowna is getting tighter while rent is on the rise.

The average rent in Kelowna and surrounding areas rose 4.5 per cent to $976 last month, while the vacancy rate sits somewhere between zero and 0.8 per cent, according to the latest report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The low rate is due to strong population growth, rising youth employment and an increasing demand for student housing, CMHC market analyst Taylor Pardy says in the October 2016 report.

The vacancy rate in the Kelowna area dropped from 0.7 per cent in October, 2015 to 0.6 per cent last month, likely because more people are moving here than the rest of the country, Pardy says.

Kelowna's population grew by 2,191 people in 2013, but in 2015, it grew by 3,425.

“Net migration at this level has not been seen since prior to 2008,” Pardy says in the report. “As a result, population growth in Kelowna was estimated to be 3.2 per cent in 2015, the strongest in Canada, fueling new household formations.”

Although demand for rental housing grew across the Kelowna area, Rutland saw the largest jump likely due to “additional pressure on the rental market” from growing enrollment at UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College, he says.

Structures built before 1974 also became more desirable in the last year as renters seek out lower cost options, the report states.

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