Families kicked out of Kelowna return to Alberta and beyond – Kelowna News

She is 32 years old, has three children and despite a good income, she returns to Alberta because it is simply too expensive in Kelowna.

Andie arrived here in 2011, but the cost of living, including housing, forces her to return to Edmonton, where she grew up.

She pays $2,300 a month for what she describes as a very small three-bedroom apartment, which she shared with her mother for a time, to help defray the costs.

“I have a full-time job, but I’m pregnant. So once I quit my job, my income will go down and the cost of renting here is too high for our income.

Andie says what she can find in Edmonton is half the price and a lot more. She can also stay with relatives while she looks for a new job and a new home. She adds that school and childcare options are also better.

Unfortunately, the move will divide his family. “My eldest is 12. He wants to stay because his friends, his school and his life are here.” He will live with his dad.

“My other middle child is 10 and he wants to come with mum. And I have a five-year-old who is right with me. She says it’s very stressful.

Andie works as a legal assistant and although she earns $3,600 a month here, she thinks she will earn the same or more in Alberta.

Another woman who responded to a question on the Kelowna Moms Facebook page about moving from the Okanagan to somewhere more affordable said her family moved to Edmonton earlier this year.

“We moved in January and bought a house for $332,000. Four bedrooms three bathrooms 2,700 square feet. Daycare for two kids, ages three and one, is just $400 a month full time,” Serena Husel Richardson said. about Kelowna, it’s nature…but we’ll only vacation there because we now have a lot more money to do so!”

It’s not just young families who are leaving.

Kaye and Bob Chisholm of Brainy Bee Honey on Valley Road return to Saskatchewan after 22 years in the central Okanagan.

“We’re going to sell this property and we’re going to go back to Saskatoon. We used to live in Saskatoon before we moved here,” said Faye, who recognizes they will have to get used to prairie winters again. “It’s a known factor. It’s not like we’re going to something we don’t know.

The eastward migration is monitored by the Calgary Real Estate Board.

Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie says they are seeing a change in migration patterns with people starting to leave other provinces, although fourth quarter 2021 figures still show Alberta losing more people for the benefit of British Columbia. She adds that it will be interesting to see if the statistics for the first quarter of 2022 indicate a change in flow.

Home prices in Calgary fell with oil prices nearly a decade ago and fell further during the pandemic. They have recovered to 2014 levels in recent months. However, the median single-family home price is still well below Kelowna, at $629,000 in April.

“And we just passed $600,000. We were at $550,000 at the end of last year,” she adds.

Condominium prices in Alberta’s largest city have not recovered from the pandemic.

“They’re still ten percent below what they were, unadjusted for inflation, in 2014. And you put that into perspective in the price, and our condo prices – kind of like the average resale condo is less than $300,000,” says Lurie.

She notes that outlying communities like Airdrie and Cochrane are even more affordable than Calgary. The benchmark price in Airdrie is $480,000 and in Cochrane it is $530,000.

Edmonton is also a relative bargain. The average April price for a three-bedroom home was $446,000.

Lurie points out that there has been job growth recently and in professional services which tend to come with better salaries, including in the tech sector and in the oil and gas industry.

“Coming from the fact that we’ve struggled for so long, it’s a good change to see this growth. And we’re finally seeing it impact streams. What we’ve seen during the pandemic is that people generally left to go to other provinces and we are finally starting to see a turnaround in this area.

She says it’s good to see Alberta with a little edge after going through so much. “I can’t say we don’t mind bringing them back.”

Andie sums up how many people in the central Okanagan might be feeling right now.

“We pay for sunshine and beauty here, I guess,” but for her, that price is now too high.

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