Migrants from Lower Mainland creating tighter rental market

By Chad Klassen
November 14, 2016 - 5:02pm Updated: November 14, 2016 - 5:48pm

KAMLOOPS — It's not an easy time for renters looking for a place to live in Kamloops. With students at TRU already settled in, there are few rental units available in the city.

And if you do find one, it's not cheap.

"The rental market is always strong as students return, and our company right now has about a 1.5% vacancy rate, which we're quite happy with," says Vice-President of the Kelson Group Jason Fawcett.

Vacancy rates among the 850 units owned by the Kelson Group hold true through the rest of Kamloops. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation says the number of rental units is dropping — a trend that started in 2014 when the vacancy rate sat around 4%. 

The main reason for the downward trend: more migrants from the lower mainland and elsewhere. CMHC predicts the limited vacancy rate in kamloops won't drop for another two years until more rental units are built. 

One is under construction right now. The kelson group is in the process of building a rental property on Summit Drive at the old Sports Central Lounge. 

"It's going to add 110 suites to the rental supply in the City of Kamloops, and we're very confident that we're going to be able to fill the building pretty quickly in the early part of 2018," says Fawcett. "After that, it'll be interesting to see how extra supply is required in the city."

Cross Developments out of Vancouver has applied to build a 375-unit complex on McGill and Dalhousie across from TRU — another much-needed building to accomodate a rental shortage in the city. 

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