Rent still falling in Kelowna
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 15 - Biz Releases

Image: Kurt Bauschardt, Flickr

Rent prices in Kelowna fell for the second month in a row in April.

According to the PadMapper Canadian Rent Report, the average one-bedroom apartment in the city rented for $1,120 a month in April, a 3.5 per cent dip from February, when average rates topped out at $1,160.

The drop in rent prices that began in March marks the first time in recent history Padmapper has recorded falling rent prices in Kelowna.

Kelowna’s new rental rates bump the city down PadMapper’s list of the country’s most expensive rental cities by three spots. It now sits in a tie for 10th place with Kingston, Ontario.

While there has been some recent relief for one-bedroom renters in Kelowna, the price of two-bedroom rentals continued to rise.

Padmapper says the city was still the fourth-most-expensive place to rent a two-bedroom home last month, with the average monthly price jumping ever-so-slightly, to $1,660.

James McCullough, a licensed property manager with Kendall Property Management, has pointed out that rental prices in Kelowna follow the same supply and demand trends as just about everywhere else.

A limited supply of available units causes rates to rise, and rates go down when more units become available.

Last year, developers started construction on a record number of homes in Kelowna, with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation recording 3,577 total housing starts, 56 per cent of which were apartment rental units.

That, CMHC analyst Taylor Pardy says, was primarily due to developers responding to Kelowna’s near-zero vacancy rates.

Pardy says housing starts are running “well ahead” of projected household gains so far in 2018, which could mean more homes coming onto the market than new households to buy them.

McCullough would say that indicates rent prices should fall further.

Meanwhile, Vancouver and Toronto remain at one and two on PadMapper’s most expensive rental city list, far above any other cities.

The average one-bedroom home cost Vancouver renters $2,100 a month in April, while Toronto’s one-bedroom renters paid an average of $2,080.

The cheapest of the 26 Canadian cities PadMapper tracked last month was Windsor, Ontario, where the average one-bedroom rental cost $690 a month.

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