A healthy housing supply is fundamental to a livable city inclusive of all citizens. One of the goals for a sustainable future outlined in the Kelowna 2030 - Official Community Plan is to "address housing needs of all residents by working towards an adequate supply of a variety of housing."
Determining future housing needs, municipalities are able to influence how communities grow and the building of infrastructure to support community. As we define appropriate densities for various neighbourhoods and create a mix of housing we can positively impact the housing supply. Policies in the OCP and the Healthy Housing Strategy guide housing development in Kelowna.
Prior to developing the Healthy Housing Strategy, the City completed a Housing Needs Assessment which paints a picture of Kelowna today, in the short‐term, and long‐term (2040) in order to understand what our housing needs are today and how they may shift over time. This Housing Needs Assessment built an important foundation for action – a strong base of knowledge contributes to robust and appropriate strategies and actions that seek to have real, measurable and positive impacts on our housing challenges.
Several incentives are available for developments that align with the City's housing priorities, including purpose-built rental housing.
Housing prices in Kelowna are stabilizing and the rental market is growing
The 2019 Housing Report examines the rental and housing market trends from the last year to tell the story of how the market has evolved over the past year compared to the last five to ten years.
“Although 2019 saw a dip in sales compared to the peak of the market in 2016, the high number of building permits issued in 2019 demonstrates on-going confidence in the Kelowna housing market.”
A standout trend for 2019 is the flurry of construction and investment in response to the strong rental demand with over 1,500 rental units completing in 2019.
Rental housing was a key driver in the Kelowna market and vacancy rates rose from 0.2 percent in 2017 to 2.7 per cent in 2019, approaching the city’s target vacancy rate of 3-5%.
Seventy-three per cent of new households from 2011 – 2016 identified as renter households.
In 2019, Kelowna also saw considerable investment in rental housing by large commercial real estate groups indicating that Kelowna continues to be an attractive place to build new rental given the growing demand for rental .
Read more about the rental boom, business of rental housing, types of rental housing and the rental market summary in the 2019 Housing Report.
In 2019, the ownership market shifted from several years of sellers’ markets with strong price growth to a more balanced market with sales prices stabilizing. There were 3,184 sales in 2019, in line with the ten-year average of 3,255 sales per year.
Multi-family housing options (strata apartments & row housing), continued to drive the vast majority of sales activity in the low-end and mid-market segments. Strata apartment units accounted for roughly 38 per cent of all sales in Kelowna and 65 per cent of those sold for under $400,000. The strong sales for multi-family housing reflect the changing housing preferences as more people look at strata apartment units in the downtown area as an attractive option based on the proximity to employment and amenities.
Entry level home sales (Below $400,000)
The entry level ownership market in Kelowna has changed significantly over the last ten years with only 35 per cent of sales below $400,000 in 2019 compared to the ten-year average of 50 per cent. In 2019, the entry level market was dominated by condo units and townhouses with roughly 86 per cent of sales accounted for by these two housing types.
The median price of condos in Kelowna in 2019 was roughly $355,000 representing an increase of nine per cent from 2018.
Mid-market home sales ($400,000 - $699,999)
Mid-market sales accounted for 44 per cent of all sales activity, driven by various housing types such as strata apartment units, row homes, and older single detached homes. Single-detached housing sales are increasingly focused in this segment of the market, accounting for roughly a third of all sales in the mid-market segment.
Row housing or missing middle units account for a quarter of sales in this part of the market.
The median price for row housing in 2019 was $466,110 which is roughly 30 per cent less than the median price of single-detached housing.
High end market housing ($700,000 - $1,000,000)
High end market sales have grown substantially over the last ten years from seven per cent of sales in 2010 to 21 per cent of sales 2019.
The growth of the high end market highlights the price increases that have occurred in the single-detached housing market.
Prices in this segment of the market showed little change from 2018 with single-detached housing prices leveling off at $681,766 after several years of rising prices. However, the average price for new single detached homes in 2019 was $955,000 demonstrating the rising cost of developing single-detached housing in Kelowna with rising servicing and construction costs for homes in hillside areas.
Learn more about home sales and trends in Kelowna in the 2019 Housing Report.