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No rhyme or reason for apartment rent ups and downs in Kelowna

The Kelowna apartment rental market is evidently in flux.

The latest figures show that in March median monthly rents for a typical one-bedroom apartment in the city slipped slightly to $1,900 from $1,910 in February.

Meantime, the March median monthly rent for a two-bedroom popped 2.6% up to $2,330 from $2,270 in February.

"Kelowna (continues) to rank as the 5th most expensive rental market in the nation last month," said Crystal Chen, marketing manager at Zumper, the platform that lists apartments for rent and compiles the monthly Canadian Rent Report.

"Kelowna was only one of five cities that saw a rent decline (for a one-bed). Overall, 17 cities saw rents increase on a monthly basis."

</who>Crystal Chen is the marketing manager at Zumper, the online platform that lists apartments for rent and compiles the monthly Canadian Rent Report.

These volatile numbers indicate Kelowna's rental market has potentially reached the tipping point.

After a constant run up in rents through 2021 and 2022, 2023 has been a different story.

In fact, at the current $1,900 a month, one-bedroom rent is $80 less than the record-high set in January.

And, the $2,330 for a two-bed is $100 less than the record-high of $2,430 set in August 2022.

</who>In March, the median monthly rent for a typical one-bedroom apartment in Kelowna decreased $10 to $1,900, yet rent for a two-bed increased $60 to $2,330.

While Kelowna continues to have some of the heftiest rents in the country, it seems like there's push back from them getting much higher.

That's why one-bed rents are on the slide and two-bed rents are down from the record-high.

Real estate is very much a supply-and-demand game and if the demand (renters) wanes for record-high rents, then supply (landlords) have to drop the price a bit to fill their apartments.

The same thing has happened in the purchase housing market as well with the selling prices of single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums off the record-highs set in the spring of 2022.

The reasons are well-documented.

Inflation, jacked-up interest rates and a softening economy means cost of living is up and our ability to keep up with it is down.

So, we're cutting back on what we can rent an apartment for or buy a home for.

As such, even if you don't live in an apartment or are looking for an apartment, the trend is important.

It's an indication that people are tightening their belts and balking at price increases in an uncertain economy.

It all boils down to consumer confidence being shaky.

Even so, rents are still historically high in Kelowna, a reflection that there was a big post-pandemic run up and the city remains a desirable place to live, work, play and invest.

Thus, people are still going to have to pay pricey rents and figure out a myriad of ways to afford it from cutting back elsewhere and taking in a roommate to going into debt or borrowing from mom and dad.

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

The four cities with bigger rents than Kelowna are, with one-and-two bed rents in brackets -- Vancouver ($2,600 and $3,600), Toronto ($2,370 and $3,000), Burnaby ($2,300 and $3,000) and Victoria ($2,000 and $2,540).

For the first time, Kitchener entered the top five, tying Kelowna with $1,900 one-bed rent in March.

However, Kitchener is No. 6 when it comes to two-bed rent of $2,230, a full $100 less than Kelowna's $2,330.

The cheapest places in Canada to rent an apartment are Edmonton with $1,030 for one-bed and $1,300 for a two-bed, Regina at $1,070 and $1,290, Saskatoon with $1,080 and $1,260 and Quebec City at $1,110 and $1,410.

See the full report at:

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