Vacancy rate relief?
Trevor Nichols - Sep 12 - Biz Releases

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Could Kelowna’s ultra-low vacancy rate soon start to rise?

If new numbers from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation are any indication, relief for the city’s renters should be just over the horizon.

The corporation’s latest statistics show that, so far this year, more apartments have been built in Kelowna than ever before.

So far in 2017, construction has begun on a total of 1,366 rental units in the city. That’s the most in any eight-month period in Kelowna’s history.

“These new rental units will contribute needed supply to the market as the apartment vacancy rate in Kelowna has remained below one percent for the past two years,” says Jonathan Rotondo of the CMHC.

Meanwhile, the total number of new houses started in Kelowna in August was up dramatically from 2016 to 2017.

Last month, construction began on 500 new homes, compared to 219 in August of 2016. That’s a jump of 128 per cent.

The trend of new apartments being built is supported in the overall housing start numbers as well, as last month’s numbers actually show a 38 per cent decline in the number of single-detached homes started.

Kelowna’s strong numbers are far above the province’s as a whole. Housing starts in British Columbia rose 4 per cent year-over-year last month, from 2,946 to 3,066.

Country-wide, the upward trend is a little more pronounced, with a 22 per cent jump (14,514 to 17,750) from August 2016 to August 2017.

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