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Apartment rents have stagnated in Kelowna

There's been little change in apartment rents in Kelowna over the past year.

That could indicate any one of a number of scenarios -- the rental market has flattened, stabilized, stagnated or plateaued, or it could slip and slide or it could take off.

That's the thing with rents in this city -- it's tied to supply and demand, what's happening in the for-sale home market, what mortgage interest rates are doing and how many people move here or take the plunge from moving out of their parents' place to their own digs.

The latest figures from Zumper, the online platform that lists apartments for rent and publishes the monthly Canadian National Rent Report, paints this picture for Kelowna for March.

Last month, Kelowna was the 9th most expensive city in the country to rent a one-bedrrom apartment.

See the chart below for the top-10 list.

<who>Photo credit: Zumper</who>Apartment rents in Kelowna have flattened at $1,890 a month for a one-bedroom and $2,300 for a two-bed.

Median monthly rent for a typical one-bedroom unit was $1,890, down just a bit from the $1,900 it was at in February.

In fact, March's $1,890 is also just $10 off the $1,900 it was a year ago in March 2023.

One-bed rent in the city peaked at $1,980 in January 2023.

The reason for the dip and stagnation is that there's been a lot of apartment building construction in Kelowna of late.

That means more supply and competition, so landlords have to keep rents in check to attract tenants.

While down slightly, rents in Kelowna are still expensive and unaffordable for many.

That means some people that would like to rent their own place can't and instead remain at home with parents or share a place with roommates.

Mortgage interest rates are also an indirect factor.

High interest rates keep some people out of the home-purchase market, so they continue to rent.

However, when rates come down, which they are expected to later this year, some renters will make the jump to homeownership, thus freeing up apartments for others, keeping the competition and housing cycle revolving.

So, as you can see, apartment rents don't just affect landlords and renters, but are an indicator of what else is happening in the whole housing market and economy.

Zumper stats also show the median monthly rent for a typical two-bedroom apartment in March in Kelowna was $2,300, the same as it was in February and down 1.3% from a year ago.

That makes Kelowna the 8th costliest city in Canada to rent a two-bed.

It was in September 2023 that rent for a two-bed in the city hit its highest at $2,700.

As always, the four most expensive rental markets are Vancouver, Toronto, Burnaby and Victoria.

Vancouver rents in March were $2,650 for a one-bed and $3,790 for a two-bed, in Toronto $2,450 and $3,170, in Burnaby $2,440 and $3,120 and for Victoria $2,080 and $2,620.

The cheapest places to rent in Canada tends to be the same four cities -- Regina with $1,180 and $1,420, Saskatoon at $1,230 and $1,480, Edmonton with $1,320 and $1,590 and Winnipeg at $1,350 and $1,700.

Thumbnail photos from Zumper

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