10 signs of economy boom
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 23, 2017 - Biz Releases

Image: Contributed

The latest review of the region’s economy shows upward trends across the board–from the jump in new job postings, housings starts, and airport passengers to rising rent and home prices.

The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission released its quarterly economic indicators report today, providing a snapshot of 10 of the region’s most important economic benchmarks.

Some of the most notable changes measured by the report were the value of residential building permits, the number of new jobs posted, and the number of new homes built.

In the case of residential building permits, the report indicates their value in the Central Okanagan rocketed up 40 per cent compared to last year, reaching an all-time high of $528 million from  January to June.

Housing starts in the region also continue to trend upward, showing a 90 per cent increase from 2016. The number of new apartments being built showed particularly strong growth, with construction beginning on 1,945 new units over the first three quarters of 2017.

That represents a 180 per cent increase from the 695 that were started over the same time period last year.

Most of those new units are going up in Kelowna, and the report anticipates the flood of new apartments will buoy the vacancy rate in the city to 2.1 per cent in 2018, up from the paltry 0.6 per cent it sits at today.

Meanwhile, however, rent in the city continues to go up, with the average one-bedroom apartment costing renters well over $1,000. That, the report says, is a jump of 6 per cent.

Following that trend, the median home price in Kelowna sits at approximately $700,000, which is 19 per cent higher than in 2016.

However, those swelling prices are mirrored somewhat by rising household incomes in the region. The report points out the average household income in Kelowna is $71,127. That represents a 41 per cent increase between 2005 and 2015, above the provincial increase of 33 per cent and the national increase of 11 per cent.

More information from the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission’s Economic Indicators report is available online.

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