While Kamloops’ vacancy rate was largely flat in October compared to the same time last year, analysts say a number of new rental projects under construction could have an impact on data in 2019.
The city’s vacancy rate last month was 1.3 per cent, up slightly from 1.2 per cent in October 2017. Vacancies are higher on the North Shore than on the South Shore.
There are 319 rental units under construction in Kamloops, apartments that will push the total number of rental units in the city — not including private rentals like basement suites and condos or homes rented by owners — to 3,800.
It will be the first significant spike in supply in more than five years.
Taylor Pardy, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s regional economist for B.C., said the new apartments could bump up the city’s vacancy rate.
“It really depends on future rental demand,” he said. “If we continue to see modest population growth with these new rentals, we might see vacancy rates start to move up.”
The increase in supply could also mean a drop in rental rates, which have been rising consistently in recent years. Last month, renters in Kamloops paid an average of $988 — up from $874 the same month a year earlier.
In October, Kamloops bachelor suites rented for an average of $763, one-bedrooms for $935, two-bedrooms for $1,084 and three-bedrooms or more for $1,252 — each about $100 more than 12 months earlier.
“In terms of rent, when you get to a place where supply starts to catch up with demand, you might see that moderate a little bit,” Pardy said.