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Apartment rents in Kelowna bounce around

Whatever word you'd like to stick to it, apartments rents in Kelowna are in flux, variable, unpredictable, inconsistent, fluid and transitory.

Most recently, in January, Kelowna held steady as the 7th most expensive city in the country in which to rent an apartment, the same placing it had in December, according to the Canadian National Rent Report, which is put together by Zumper, the online platform that lists apartments for rent.

However, over the past two years, Kelowna has been as high as the third priciest in February 2022 and a low as No. 14 on the list in June 2023.

Median monthly rent for a typical one-bedroom slid 1% from $1.940 in December to $1,920 in January, while the rent on a two-bedroom inched up a teeny bit from $2,270 to $2,290.

</who> Kelowna is the 7th most expensive city in the country in which to rent an apartment.

Rents on both one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms have gyrated around since record highs were set at $1,980 in January 2023 and $2,700 in September 2023, respectively.

The reasons for the ups and downs are myriad.

Kelowna is a desirable place to live, work, play and invest, so there will always be good demand for apartments as people move here and other people move around in the city.

The economy is generally strong, which is why Kelowna rents are high.

But, post-pandemic, the economy has surged and then softened because of runaway inflation and skyrocketing interest rates, which confoundingly saw rents rise, dip, rise and dip again.

Plus, there had traditionally been a shortage of apartments in Kelowna, which increased competition for them and kept prices high.

But, over the past few years, there's been a construction boom of purpose-built rental apartment complexes, which increased supply and forced landlords to be more competitive with rents.

The influx of college and university students every September also impacts demand for apartments.

Sharing rent can also impact what people are willing to spend.

For instance, one person might not be able to afford the typical two-bed apartment rent of $2,290 in Kelowna, but if that person gets a roommate the two of them might spring for a two-bed at $2,400, or $1,200 each, which is less than Kelowna's one-bed median of $1,920.

And, rented units aren't just apartments in purpose-built buildings, but condominiums that people own and rent out.

</who>Most of Kelowna's rental apartments are in low-rise buildings.

Kelowna's one-bed rent of $1,920 in January, puts it behind the always-No. 1-and-No. 2 Vancouver and Toronto, at $2,700 and $2,450, respectively, Burnaby at $2,440, Halifax and Victoria both at $2,040 and Ottawa with $1,940.

It was Halifax and Ottawa with rent bumps that pushed Kelowna out of the top 5 in the rankings to No. 7.

Two-bed rent at $2,290 in Kelowna actually puts the city at No. 8 most expensive behind seven cities -- Vancovuer with $3,800, Toronto at $3,200, Burnaby with $3,110, Victoria at $2,670, Halifax with $2,600, Ottawa at $2,400 and Kitchener at $2,380.

The cheapest rents in the country are in Saskatoon with one-bed at $1,130 and two-bed at $1,380, Regina with $1,160 and $1,370, Edmonton at $1,270 and $1,520, Quebec City with $1,330 and $1,640

See the full report here:

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