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Real estate consultants predict renting in Kelowna will get easier

They say more apartments under construction will increase supply and short term rental laws will help

Rents in Kelowna have been ranked ninth most expensive to rent on the list of 25 cities in Canada.

The average property, listed on rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting states that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom was $1,299 and for a two-bedroom $1,574.

They also state that in Kelowna, finding a suitable home to rent is more difficult than most other Canadian cities with the exception of metropolitan areas such as Vancouver and Toronto.

The average property listed on Rentals.ca in February was offered for rent at $1,888 per month in Canada overall, an increase of 1.8 per cent monthly from $1,854 in January. The median rent was $1,800 per month, up from $1,747 in January.

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In a press release they state that renter’s woes are about to lighten.

They predict that the supply of rental units should outpace demand mostly because of newly built apartments and apartments under construction. Also, Kelowna City Council voted in early March to add restrictions to short-term rentals — Airbnb and VRBO — which should open up a few more units for long-term rentals.

Taylor Pardy, senior analyst, economics, housing market insights – West for the Canada Mortgage Housing and Corporation (CMHC) predicts the vacancy rate will be higher in 2019 and 2020 than in the past three years because of “the volume of apartment rental units currently under construction.”

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After a packed public hearing March 12, Kelowna City Council approved short-term rental regulations licensing owners $345 a year. The regulations allow short-term rentals in a few neighbourhoods, and stop home owners from having short-term rentals in their primary residence in most areas. Council will allow short-term rentals in carriage houses and secondary suites, and city staff will come back in April outlining these regulations for another vote.

Kelowna Community Planning Manager Ryan Smith estimated that 700-800 units could be opened up as long-term rentals after regulations are enforced, but he added that “because of the seasonality” nature of tourism in Kelowna, it’s ultimately hard to predict.

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