British Columbia

Kelowna getting bigger — and younger, report finds

25-to-34-year-olds make up the largest group moving to Kelowna, city report finds

Liam Britten - CBC News

November 22, 2016

A view of downtown Kelowna from the air. Building permit approvals for residential projects increased 40 per cent between 2014 from 2015. (gillicious/Flickr)

Once a magnet for retirees, Kelowna is now attracting an increasing number of people between the ages of 25 and 34.

That is one of the big takeaways from a Community Trends Report by city staff presented to council on Monday.

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"[There's] certainly a trend of more younger people moving here, … who are entering the job market after university. People may be looking to start families, may be looking to find a place to start their career and the next stage of their life," Ross Soward, a planning specialist with the City of Kelowna told Radio West guest host Josh Pagé.

"Kelowna is attracting more people … from south Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Certainly, part of that could be the fact we're seeing very, very high real estate costs within those markets."

In February, the Kelowna Metro area was declared the fastest-growing in Canada by Stats Canada, with a population increase between 2014 and 2015 of 3.1 per cent. Soward says that works out to about 4,500 new people in Kelowna proper, for a population of 127,500.

Soward says that growth is bringing many positives but also leads to challenges, especially in the rental housing market, which sits at a vacancy rate of only 0.7 per cent. He believes by 2017 or 2018 that should improve.

Some other findings from the Community Trends Report include:

With files from CBC Radio One's Radio West


To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Kelowna getting bigger — and getting younger, report finds

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