Kelowna, British Columbia lies along the shores of Okanagan Lake, offering gorgeous views and a peaceful atmosphere for all to enjoy. As a result, more than 217,000 people reside within the city proper and its outskirts with many more moving here each year. In order to make the most of their move, people have to look beyond its phenomenal landscapes to see what the cost of living is like in this region. Only with that information can they see if they can cover all the monthly expenses. To help everyone take that step, here's a look at the cost of living in Kelowna, BC.
Real Estate and Rental Homes
As with many other locations across British Columbia, the housing costs in Kelowna are quite high. Median home prices are in the $650,000 range with many properties selling for well over $1 million. Even one-bedroom, one-bathroom condos tend to sell for over $350,000, keeping real estate costs high across the board.
At about $1,100 for a one-bedroom apartment, rental rates are not much better, though they cost much less upfront. Renters can expect to pay first and last month's rent plus a deposit to move in. Their monthly rent payment may cover water, sewer, and garbage, though that is not guaranteed for all rentals. Apartments are much more likely to include these services in the rent payment, while single-family rental homes tend to keep everything separate.
When living in Kelowna, residents must cover the cost of electricity, gas, water, sewer, and garbage. If these are not covered in the rent payment, separate bills will come each month. Not all homes have both electricity and gas, however, as it depends on the build specifications.
When living in a 900-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment, residents can expect to pay about $142 for all their utilities each month. This is about 2% lower than the utility bills paid by residents of Toronto. As the square footage of the floor plan increases, so do the utility bills. This is also true as usage of power, heat, cooling, and the like increase.
To move through the city with ease, residents can either take their personal vehicle, hop on public transportation, or use a taxi service. When driving their own car, residents pay around $1.34 per liter of gas, which can add up fast on long commutes. Public transportation is often a lot cheaper at around $64 per month, though commute times are usually much longer.
If neither a personal vehicle nor bus is available, residents can hail a cab instead. A taxi ride through the city tends to cost about $23 every five miles. Rates can go up during busy periods, however, driving up expenses considerably in the morning and evening hours.
When compared to Toronto and similar areas, the grocery costs in Kelowna are affordable. Many food items are between 20% to 50% cheaper in this area, such as:
Bottled water, on the other hand, is moderately more expensive, making it well worth getting a water filter for the faucet.
If residents want to eat at a restaurant, they can expect to pay about $8.50 per meal for fast food. At an inexpensive sit-down restaurant, it will only run $17 per person plus a tip. A three-course meal at a fancy restaurant, however, will be closer to $90 for two with a 20% tip.
With a look at all these Kelowna cost of living expectations, everyone can see if a move here will work for their budget. As they weigh the price of housing, transportation, and more, they will be better able to decide if this region is the best place to reside.