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Apartment rents slip in Kelowna, but are still historically high

Apartment rents in Kelowna are on the slide, but there's still no way you can call them cheap.

Just-released numbers show median monthly rent for a typical one-bedroom apartment in the city was $1,920 last month, down from $1,950 in November 2022 and $40 off the record-high of $1,960 in October 2022.

For a two-bedroom unit, last month's median rent was $2,270, down from $2,340 in November 2022 and $160 off the record-high of $2,430 in August 2022.

The data comes from Zumper, the online platform that lists apartments for rent and compiles the monthly Canadian National Rent Report.

</who>Kelowna is the fifth most expensive city in Canada to rent an apartment behind Vancouver, Toronto, Burnaby and Victoria.

Even with the recent tumble, rents in Kelowna are still up significantly from a year ago -- 17.8% more for a one-bed and 11.3% for a two-bed.

Regardless of the recent downtick, Kelowna remains firmly ensconced as the fifth most expensive city to rent an apartment in Canada behind only Vancouver (one-bed: $2,480, two-bed: $3,500), Toronto ($2,300 and $2,950), Burnaby ($2,200 and $3,170) and Victoria ($2,100 and $2,540).

The easing of rents may be people saying enough is enough to high housing costs.

We've seen it in the regular housing market where sales have dried up and prices have slipped after record-high prices were hit last year followed by a bout of inflation, higher mortgage interest rates and battered consumer confidence.

It's a little different in the apartment rental market because people are usually renting because they can't afford the down payment on a condo, townhouse or house and the subsequent mortgage payments.

Dropping rents indicate potential renters aren't snapping up apartments at the pace they used to when the market was brisk and rents were at all-time highs.

Thus, today's renter is more careful, opting for lower rents or staying put with their parents or roommates rather than venturing out to get a costlier place or a place on their own.

After all, real estate is all about supply and demand and if demand wanes, landlords have to respond with a bit of a discount or deal to secure renters.

</who>Kelowna apartment rents are up from a year ago, but down from the record set in the fall.

Thus said, Kelowna rents are still historically expensive and some of the costliest in the nation.

That's because the city is a desirable place to live, work, play and invest and the economy is strong.

That means the population is always growing, workers, retirees and lifestyle seekers are moving here, university and college students are a fixture and people already here are constantly looking for a bigger and better place or downsizing.

All that activity keeps the real estate market rolling.

Kelowna rents are almost double what they are in Canada's least expensive cities -- Regina at $1,000 and $1,200, Saskatoon at $1,040 and $1,220, Edmonton with $1,050 and $1,300 and Winnipeg's $1,090 and $1,400.

The price differences may be that Kelowna is a more desirable place to live than the prairies, but it can also mean that Kelowna hasn't kept pace with building enough rental apartment complexes the way some of those bigger cities on the prairies have.

See the full report at:

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