Rental vacancy rates increase in Kelowna along with price

Vacancy rates have increased in the Central Okanagan, but so has the price

Finding a place to rent in Kelowna is getting a little easier, but it’s also more expensive.

Rental vacancy rates in the Central Okanagan have increased to nearly 2 per cent in October 2018.

According to a Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation report, Kelowna’s overall vacancy rate is listed at 1.9 per cent compared to 0.2 per cent in October of last year.

“New supply of purpose built rental apartments outpacing growth in demand has resulted in apartment vacancy rates increasing across all bedroom types,” the report said. “The increase in vacancy rate can be attributed to a significant increase in the number of primary apartment rental units, outpacing the increase in demand for rental units, between the October 2017 and 2018 surveys.”

However, two bedroom rental averages are higher than last year, at $1,267 compared to $1,151 in October 2017.

One bedroom apartments currently have the healthiest vacancy rate, with 3.5 per cent compared to two bedroom units at 0.9 per cent and studio apartments at 0.3 per cent.

READ MORE: Vacancies remain low as rents rise in B.C.: CMHC

The primary rental market consists of units in privately owned, purpose built rental structures. The secondary rental market, which covers apartments that are offered for rent, still has a vacancy of less than 1 per cent.

The primary rental market expanded by 499 units between October 2017 and October 2018, the report said.

Individuals between the ages of 15 to 24 and 55 and older are the core sources of demand for rentals over the past few years, the report said.

“Demand from rising employment among younger working aged individuals and new grads has also supported rental demand over the past few years, however, this trend has begun to wane,” the report said.

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