Kelowna's Vacancy Rate Tumbles

If it seems to be harder to find a vacant apartment than a year ago at this time, you'd be correct.

According to the annual Spring Rental Market Survey released Wednesday by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Kelowna's rental apartment vacancy rate sat at 5.2 per cent.

That's down from 6.6 per cent during the spring of 2011.

The survey, which does not include basement suites or rental homes, was conducted in April.

While the vacancy rate dropped, apartment hunters in Kelowna were better off than most in the country.

Among major metropolitan areas in the country only Saint John, NB (8.4%) and Windsor, Ont. (7.7%) had a higher vacancy rate than Kelowna.

The other three metropolitan areas of BC, Abbotsford (4.9%), Victoria (3.5%) and Vancouver (2.6%) all had a lower vacancy rate.

The overall vacancy rate in BC is 3.4 per cent while the national rate sits at 2.5 per cent. Both are down from a year ago.

"An overall improving job market over the last year, in conjunction with new migrants coming to Canada's major centres, are factors that are supporting rental demands in Canada," says Mathieu Labarge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC.

"Immigrants as well as young workers usually tend to rent first and then move to homeownership."

The average monthly rent for a two bedroom apartment also dipped slightly from a year ago.

The average two bedroom rent was $911/month in April compared to $920/month in April, 2011.

The average rent in BC rose 2.3 per cent to $1,036/month while the Canadian average shot up 2.1 per cent to $860/month.

Amanda Westrheim

Amanda Westrheim

CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.
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