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WALKER: It has never been tougher for Kelowna renters

Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate.
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December 02, 2017 - 12:15 PM

 


OPINION


If you, or someone you’re close with, rents a home in Kelowna, you likely know the local rental market is very challenging. Indeed, a new report from the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) reveals that Kelowna renters have never had it tougher.

Right now, the vacancy rate in Kelowna is a meagre 0.2 per cent, and it’s not an isolated incident. The Kelowna rental market has been tight for years. In fact, this is the third successive year the vacancy rate has been less than one per cent. Less than one per cent!

What’s driving these extremely low rental vacancy rates? Chiefly, it’s down to folks moving to our city. Kelowna is a very attractive place to live and that is drawing people from across Canada and beyond to our community. That’s an overwhelmingly positive thing, but it isn’t without its challenges for our city.

As you might imagine, the extra competition and demand for homes is driving up rental prices. CMHC states the average rent in our city is now just over $1,000 a month, with a bachelor suite averaging a monthly rent of just under $860 and a 2-bedroom apartment going for an average of more than $1,100 per month.

There may be some relief in the short to medium term with a number of new condo developments slated to hit the local market over the next few years. Indeed, the City of Kelowna estimates that by 2020, local rental inventory will have doubled from 1,000 units to 2,000 units. However, demand is likely to remain strong too.

If you’ve been thinking about getting on the Kelowna property ladder, now might be a great time to buy in. Not only that, it might be more achievable than you think. It’s certainly worth another look.

What do you think? If you’re a renter in Kelowna, does it feel as tough as it has ever been? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear your perspective.

If you’d like to learn more about the Kelowna real estate market, I encourage you to contact me directly. I would be happy to chat with you, and my Kelowna real estate brokerage has connections with many other professionals, including mortgage brokers who can help you assess your ability to obtain a mortgage. I can be reached at 250-764-4344 or Mark@KelownaProperties.com.

— Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate. His company runs the website KelownaProperties.com - Kelowna’s most comprehensive real estate search tool. Mark Walker’s column appears here every two weeks.


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