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.
"[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."
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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:
- Median household income was $67,340, up $4,754 from 2014
- The median price of a single detached house is $500,000, up 6.8 per cent from 2014
- Fewer people are moving from Alberta
- 25-to-34-year-olds make up the largest group moving to Kelowna
- Unemployment is at a relatively high 7.9 per cent
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