Finding a place to rent in the Central Okanagan isn’t just hard, it’s also expensive.
But none of this is news to those who rent in the region.
This week, the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) released its yearly report on rental units across the nation.
And, not surprisingly, the Greater Kelowna Area is one of the most expensive places to rent in Canada. It also has a ridiculously low vacancy rate that’s under one per cent.
The report says the rental vacancy rate for two-bedroom apartments in the region, which stretches from Lake Country to Peachland, is at 1.2 per cent, up from 0.6 per cent one year ago.
Regarding rent, the report listed an average price of $1,690 for a two-bedroom apartment in a purpose-built rental building, up from $1,475 one year ago. It also said the average price of a two-bedroom condo unit is $2,234 – the fourth-highest price in Canada.
Only Toronto ($2,692), Vancouver ($2,504) and Victoria ($2,321) have higher two-bedroom rental prices than Kelowna.
In its report, CMHC says rental housing supply has surged but demand has outpaced growth, leaving the national vacancy rate at a near-historic low.
The report also said:
- The average rent growth for 2-bedroom units was significantly higher for units that turned over to a new tenant than the ones that didn’t.
- The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment reached an all-time high.
- Low rental housing stock disproportionately impacted low-income renters.
The report is available on CMHC’s website.
However, CMHC’s prices fall short in comparison to another organization’s rental report.
In its January 2023 report, the website Rentals.ca says the average two-bedroom unit in Kelowna goes for $2,480, while one-bedroom units go for $1,983.
On its website, rents in the Greater Kelowna Area varied, with some at just below $2,000 and others at $2,700.
The report also listed Vancouver as having the highest two-bedroom costs in the nation at $3,562, with Toronto second at $3,215.
Vancouver also had the highest one-bedroom costs at $2,596 per month, with Toronto second at $2,457.
“The annual rate of rent inflation in Canada remained in double-digits for the eighth consecutive month in December,” reads the report. “The average listed rent for all property types increased 12.2 per cent year over year to reach $2,005, an increase of $217 from the December 2021 average of $1,788.
“On a month-over-month basis, average rents decreased 1.0 per cent, which is a typical seasonal occurrence. This is the second straight month the average monthly rent has exceeded $2,000.”
That report can be accessed here.