Kelowna rental vacancy rate to rise for the first time in five years

Kelowna multi-family housing starts have soared, pushing up the vacancy rate by providing more supply to the city's growing young population

Western Investor
November 23, 2017



The Kelowna rental vacancy rate expected to rise for the first time in five years this year, according to a new report.

The apartment vacancy rate in Kelowna is forecasted to double from 0.6 per cent in 2016 to 1.2 per cent in 2017, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Fall 2017 Housing Market Outlook report states. An impressive increase in multi-family housing starts in 2016 and 2017 will add considerable rental supply over the next few years, increasing the vacancy rate to as much as 2.5 per cent in 2018.

Multi-family housing starts more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, increasing from 652 starts to 1,411. Two thousand housing are forecasted for 2017, with an additional 1,720 expected in 2018. Increased migration attracted by employment opportunities has bolstered housing demand. 

“In the first eight months of 2017 Kelowna experienced the strongest employment growth out of any other large centre in B.C.,” the report states. “A record number of new apartment rentals have gotten underway, in reaction to low vacancy rates and more favourable market fundamentals.”

apartment vacancy rate

Tanya is a recent graduate of Langara College's journalism program and spent a summer freelancing for The Burnaby NOW and The Record, following a reporting internship with the publications. She joins Western Investor as an editorial assistant. Very much a millennial, she sees the irony in writing about real estate she will likely never be able to afford.
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