- Real Estate Listings
Apartment rents obviously didn't get the memo that Kelowna's real estate market is on the slide.
Just-released figures show the median monthly rent for a typical one-bedroom apartment in the city in October was a record-high $1,960.
That's up 3.2% from September's previous record of $1,900 and up 17.4% from $1,619 in October 2021.
In fact, it was only a few years ago that we made a big deal of rent for a one-bed breaking the $1,000-a-month ceiling.
Last month, the median for a two-bedroom apartment in Kelowna was $2,410, just off the record of $2,430 set in August.
"Kelowna ranked as the 5th most expensive rental market in the nation last month," said Crystal Chen, marketing manager at Zumper, the online platform that lists apartments for rent and compiles the monthly Canadian National Rent Report.
The highest rents ever in Kelowna come at a time when house, townhouse and condominium selling prices in the city are down about 8% from their peaks in the spring and are predicted to go down a total of 20% by mid next year.
The decline is caused by burgeoning inflation, higher mortgage interest rates and shaky consumer confidence.
While that trifecta of negativity is hurting home buyers and sellers, it's strangely led to higher apartment rents.
You see, demand is still high for rental apartments in Kelowna because those that can't afford to buy a home have to rent, causing competition for the units out there and driving up price.
As well, recent home sellers may be choosing to rent currently while they wait for house prices to bottom out before they buy again.
Plus, young workers who aren't ready to enter the housing market and college and university students are renting, again creating competition for apartments and pushing up rents.
Even if you're happily housed and aren't looking for an apartment to rent or a house to buy, everyone seems to watch rents and prices with fascination because they are prime indicators of the economy and society.
What those indicators say is the Kelowna economy is still healthy, despite recent setbacks, and remains a desirable place to live, work, play and invest.
That means there will always be demand for rental apartments and houses, townhouses and condos to buy and rents and prices will remain historically high in the grand scheme of things.
The five cities with higher monthly apartment rents than Kelowna are Vancouver ($2,500 for a one-bed, $3,500 for a two-bed), Toronto ($2,130 and $2,680), Burnaby ($2,100 and $2,980) and Victoria ($2,100 and $2,630).
The city next closest to Kelowna is No. 6 most expensive Oshawa with $1,770 and $2,000.
The cheapest places to rent in the country are St. John's ($890 and $1,000), Regina ($990 and $1,150) and Edmonton ($1,000 and $1,280).