Kelowna has the seventh highest rental market in the country. (Caitlin Clow - Kelowna Capital News)

Kelowna is seventh most expensive rental market in Canada

Topping the list is Toronto and Vancouver

New rental units continue to pop up around the city, but according to a Canadian rental report, the affordability of these new residences aren’t cheap.

Kelowna was ranked as the seventh most expensive rental market in the country last month with the average price of a one-bedroom unit at $1,280 and a two-bedroom unit around $1,700.

The city has been in the Top 10 of the most expensive places to rent in Canada all year.

Recently a developer broke ground on a housing project in downtown Kelowna to create more apartments that will be available for middle-income renters.

READ MORE: Developer breaks ground on downtown Kelowna rental housing project

The two-building development will have close to 160 rental suites designed for households with annual incomes ranging from $52,000 to $71,000. The projected price for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,300 per month, with a two-bedroom apartment slated to cost $1,780 per month.

In May, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said more than 1,500 purpose-built rental units were developed in the city in the past year, helping to shift the vacancy rate from 0.2 per cent to 1.9 per cent.”

In an attempt to tackle the issue of affordability, Kelowna city council defeated a motion last month to allow secondary suites and carriage houses to be used for short-term rentals.

READ MORE: City of Kelowna defeats short-term rentals ‘for now’

Basran and his council colleagues who voted against the change said they did so in order to protect the long-term local rental market.

“Secondary suites and carriage houses are an integral part of Kelowna’s secondary market. Allowing short-term rentals in these units is expected to remove units from the long-term rental market, putting added pressure on purpose-built rentals and other forms of rental housing,” said a city staff report presented to council prior to the vote.

In the rental report, Toronto took the No. 1 spot in Canada as the most expensive rental market. A one-bedroom apartment there costs an average of $2,230, while a two-bedroom unit goes for around $2,850.

Coming in second was Vancouver, where a one-bedroom apartment rents for $2,210 and an it costs an average of $3,200 to rent a two- bedroom suite.

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