Vacancy rates remain stable in Kamloops

By Greg Fry
November 29, 2017 - 12:29pm Updated: January 16, 2018 - 3:53pm

KAMLOOPS — There has been little change in year-over-year vacancy rates in Kamloops.

That according to the latest Rental Market Report issued by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

"The estimated apartment vacancy rate in Kamloops came in at 1.2 per cent in 2017 based on our (October) survey," says Senior Market Analyst Taylor Pardy. "And this compares to a vacancy rate of 1.1 per cent in October 2016."

He attributes the situation to "a bit of an increase in the rental universe" noting the extra 44 units in town "likely took a little bit of pressure off of the market and kept the vacancy rate a little more stable."

So, how does Kamloops compare to other markets in the province?

"It really depends where you are but if you look at Kelowna, for example, the vacancy rate has dropped quite low to 0.2 per cent," Pardy says. "There's a lot of other markets in B.C. that have also seen declines in 2017 including Vernon, Penticton, Nelson. So, we're really seeing, particularly in the southern portion of the province, some population-based pressure in terms of demand for new rentals."

As for the cost of rental units, Pardy says prices have gone up an additonal 2.9 per cent, compared to 1.5 per cent in 2016. He says that's "definitely not as high as some areas of the province that have lower vacancy rates right now."

The average cost of a one bedroom apartment was $823 in October 2017 in Kamloops, compared to $803 in 2016. The price of a two bedroom apartment rose from $944 to $957.

Looking ahead, Pardy is forecasting vacancy rates to rise slightly in 2018 to 1.6 per cent in Kamloops as more rental units are built here before dropping back to 1.2 per cent in 2019.

"But it's all going to depend on the volume of rental units coming down the pipeline. We try to take this into account as much as posisble in terms of watching the number of projects that are being planned and try to anticipate when they'll be completed."

New Afton shows strong 2017