The Cost of Living Kelowna 2023 | Kelowna Cost of Living
Kelowna Cost of Living | Cost of Living in Kelowna 2023
Surrounded by freshwater lakes, awe-inspiring mountain ranges, and beautiful parks, the City of Kelowna is often labeled “a four seasons playground.” The Okanagan lifestyle offers tantalizing vineyards, orchards brimming with fruit in summer, and a vibrant and energetic urban scene with great restaurants, nightlife, and boutique shopping. A visit to Kelowna will make you fall in love, but you should know that life in paradise comes with a price tag.
This article discusses the features and amenities of the City of Kelowna, then provides an estimate of the average cost of living in Kelowna, BC in 2022, 2023 and beyond. We base our cost of living calculations on factors like housing, telecom, food, healthcare, education, transportation, and activities.
About Kelowna, British Columbia
Kelowna is a Canadian city located in the Interior region of British Columbia, 4 hours drive west of Vancouver, BC. Situated along the shores of the Okanagan Lake, this beautiful city is home to 142,000 year-round residents. In summers, the population swells above 200,000 as holiday tourists from Alberta, Ontario, and the Lower Mainland flock to the sunny Okanagan Valley.
Kelowna Weather & Climate
With over 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, Kelowna’s climate offers an escape from the humid conditions and severe winter weather typical of Eastern Canadian provinces. With mild winters, hot summers, and low humidity, Kelowna is a comfortable place to live year round.
Kelowna’s Main Attractions
The 135km long Okanagan Lake is one of the main attractions in Kelowna. Lake Okanagan is a fjord lake carved out by repeated glaciation. If you’re interested in cultural history, learn about the Ogopogo, Okanagan Lake’s legendary monster, which is known as “N’ha-a-itk” (spirit of the lake) by the Interior Salish Nation people.
You can explore dozens of parks and beaches along the shores of Lake Okanagan, attracting fishing and boating affictionades from across the region at gems like Bertram Park, Kelowna City Park, and Gyro Beach. Kelowna is home to more than a dozen golf courses with emerald green courses, awe-inspiring landscapes, and gorgeous valley views. We also have 6 great driving ranges to practice your game. Kelowna’s world class wine making scene represents the birthplace of winemaking in BC. With over 40 wineries within a 20 minute drive from Kelowna - including 7 organic wineries - the Okanagan region offers world-class wine experiences, fine dining restaurants, and stunning valley views.
Winter months in Kelowna bring an enchanting beauty across the Okanagan landscape and plenty of things to do. Powdery snow-covered mountains, icy flows on Okanagan Lake, and mild temperatures with winter lows averaging -4 celcius. The snow brings opportunities for exhilarating downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Big White Mountain Resort and Silver Star are 2 of the best ski resorts in the Okanagan.
Travelers are welcomed to Kelowna through the Kelowna International Airport, situated just 15 minutes away from Downtown Kelowna. As one of the busiest airports in Canada, Kelowna International Airport (YLW) services regular flights from major cities across Alberta, BC, Ontario and the USA.
Kelowna Jobs & Economy
Described as “the most entrepreneur-friendly large city in Canada” by the Canadian Federation of Business, Kelowna is home to a bustling economy led by tourism, construction, agriculture, manufacturing, technology, aerospace, and healthcare.
Kelowna attracts global visitors that support a tourism industry sized at over a $1 billion dollars a year, while also housing the Kelowna General Hospital which is the leading healthcare facility in the Okanagan and extending region.
Considered the third-largest and fastest growing technology centre in all of BC, Kelowna is already home to over 600 technology companies with over $1.8 billion in annual revenue. Some of Kelowna’s largest employers include the City of Kelowna, University of British Columbia, KF Aerospace, the Kelowna International Airport, and Kelowna General Hospital (Interior Health).
Kelowna’s post secondary institutions like UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College generate a valuable pool of talented workers for local businesses. Overall, Kelowna is a great place to find a job, and Canada’s most entrepreneurial city according to the Federation of Independent Businesses. Kelowna’s unemployment rate is 5.2%, reflecting a healthy economic position in the country.
Average Household Income
According to BCBusiness, Kelowna’s average household income was $106,994 in 2020, and the average income for people under 35 was $87,596. BCBusiness expects these income numbers to grow by 20.7% between 2020 and 2025.
Personal Income & Taxation
According to Stats Canada, the average personal income in Kelowna is $45,000. The city follow’s British Columbia’s minimum wage requirement at $15.20 as of June 1, 2021. Kelowna, BC income tax rates range from 5.06% to 20.5%, depending on which of the 7 income tiers your income falls under. In Canada, there are 7 income brackets between $42,184 and $222,420, which is important to factor into your own cost of living.
The Cost of Housing in Kelowna
The Kelowna housing market is experiencing staggering growth in the 2020’s with skyrocketing housing prices in Kelowna and sold out condominium developments. In 2022, with mortgage interest rate increases, we're seeing a massive increase in housing inventory which is shifting Kelowna real estate into a buyers market.
Since the market’s low point around 2013, the average price of a single-family home has increased from $400K to $1.1M (that’s a 2.75X increase in less than 10 years). Between 2021 and 2022, the median home price in Kelowna increased by 25.3 per cent. This growth was largely fueled by low interest rates, a global shift in lifestyle changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kelowna’s unique attractiveness.
So what makes Kelowna real estate so special? The Okanagan lifestyle and Kelowna’s new modern feel now attracts buyers from across Canada and the rest of the world.
Kelowna real estate feels expensive, but compared to other major cities across Canada, it's still more affordable, and perhaps undervalued. The average home price in Kelowna is 30 percent less than Vancouver and 18 percent less than Victoria. See for yourself - here’s what a $3M house looks like in Kelowna vs Vancouver. Housing costs in nearby communities like Lake Country, Peachland, Vernon, & Penticton tend to have lower housing prices than Kelowna.
If you’re looking to buy condos in Kelowna, Canada, check out this 2021 condo buyers guide for an overview of every high rise condominium for sale in Kelowna, British Columbia - including affordable condos, mid-range condos, and luxury penthouses.
Renting in Kelowna
For those interested in renting, Kelowna offers greater affordability than other major cities in beautiful British Columbia. In the table below, we compare 1 and 2 bed monthly rental rates between Kelowna, Victoria, and Vancouver.
A mid-range 1 bedroom apartment in Kelowna rents for $1,875/mo on average, compared to $2,085/mo in Victoria and $2,400/mo in Vancouver.
Find out the best neighborhood in Kelowna for your budget in our guide to Kelowna’s most affordable neighborhoods.
1 Bedroom Apartment
2 Bedroom Apartment
$1,875 per month
$2,400 per month
$2,085 per month
$2,450 per month
$2,400 per month
$3,473 per month
Data source: Zumper.com, local rental listings in Kelowna, Canada
The average cost of home insurance for a single person in a 1,500 sq ft house in Kelowna with attached garage is ~$65 per month. Tenant insurance (renters insurance) in a 1 storey house without a garage comes to ~$28/month. You can get home insurance from a number of P&C companies like Intact Insurance, TD Insurance, Aviva, as well as brokers such as Westland Insurance Group, HUB International Insurance Brokers, etc.
As one of the world’s top wine regions, it’s no wonder that Kelowna also has incredible food, and fine dining options. From food trucks, farmers markets, fast food with domestic beer, craft breweries, independent artisanal farmers markets, and five-star restaurants, Kelowna has it all. If you're looking for an inexpensive restaurant or a mid-range restaurant, check out our guide to cheap eats in Kelowna. Our favorite inexpensive restaurant for 2023 is a tie between Okanagan Street Food in the North End and Fiesta Del Sol in the Landmark district.
The table below shows that food prices in Kelowna are lower than both Vancouver and Victoria.
Monthly minimum amount spent on of food per month
Data source: Numbeo.com
In Kelowna, your average monthly grocery bill will be at least $428.61. Meals at affordable restaurants can range anywhere between $15 to $25 for basic lunchtime fare, while a meal for two at a mid range restaurant can cost about $70. Fine dining for 2 at one of Kelown’s many premiere restaurants can easily cost $100 or more.
Utilities & Telecom
Utilities include services like heating, electricity, natural gas, water service, and garbage disposal. In Kelowna, your utilities bill will come to just over $130 per month for a basic 85 sq meter (914 sq ft) apartment (according to Numbeo.com).
Several internet and telephone service providers offer plans in Kelowna for all tiers of usage, serving those with basic needs to power users requiring high speed connections. An average internet plan in Kelowna comes to about $70/month after tax for a 150MB/s connection (Freedom Internet). Phone plans can vary greatly in price based on the services and features you select. An unlimited, Canada-wide plan for talk-and-text with 1GB of data from Public Mobile costs $23/month. Explore the cheapest phone plans in Kelowna.
Commuting by car is made convenient due to Highway 97’s crossing through West Kelowna, over the lake, through downtown central, and continues northward towards Lake Country. Vehicle insurance in BC is averagely $1,832, meaning Kelowna residents will averagely be paying around $150-200 monthly depending on the ICBC variables of focus.
Biking has increased in popularity in Kelowna, leading to the improvement and increase in city built bike lanes and paths. Take advantage of the warm weather and travel safely by bike on the 300 + kilometres of on-street bike lanes and 40 kilometers of multi-use paved pathways, such as the Okanagan Rail Trail. Kelowna’s City Hall provides bike users with an Active by Nature Route Map that encourages bikers to plan their routes ahead and remain confident and safe in their commutes.
If Electric Kick Scooters (E-Scooters) interest you as a quick and convenient mode of transportation, the city of Kelowna is taking part in a provincial pilot project that allows scooters on roads in the community, provided users abide by the rules set by the province.
BC transit provides Kelowna with a variety of bus routes connecting the entirety of the city, on both sides of the lake, with the addition of intercity routes including buses to Vernon and Peachland. Single fares are $2.50 for adults, seniors and students, with children under 5 years riding for free. A monthly pass costs $70.00 for adults and $55.00 for post-secondary students.
Taxis & Rideshares
There are numerous taxi cab options in the city of Kelowna including: Kelowna Cabs, Checkmate Cabs, and West Cabs. Supporting Kelowna’s eco-friendly efforts, Current Taxi is the newest Kelowna cab company offering 24 hour service - in a fully-electric Tesla taxi fleet that saves them 1.2 million Kg of CO2 emissions. In Kelowna, taxis cost $3.50 + $3.60 per mile traveled.
Kelowna is also home to a B.C. founded ride-hailing company, “Lucky To Go”, which also provides fast-food delivery and same-day grocery delivery services. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are not available in Kelowna in 2022.
Own a car? You can expect to pay around $120/mo for car insurance, $200+ on gasoline (petrol), and you’ll pay around $25/mo for 2 car washes. The cost of car ownership in Kelowna is at least $335 to $450 per month.
Cost of Health Care in Kelowna, BC
Like the rest of British Columbia, residents of Kelowna can be covered for most medically necessary services under the Medical Services Plan (MSP). MSP premiums have no longer been charged since January, 2020 but all residents who desire coverage must enroll and keep updated with Health Insurance BC (HIBC).
Individuals who are not covered by MSP will pay about $183 for personal healthcare insurance and about $550 for family insurance. Without MSP registration, an individual can expect a Kelowna doctor’s clinic 15 minute visit to cost about $95.
Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), managed by Interior Health, is conveniently located near Downtown Kelowna at the edge of Okanagan Lake. KGH provides a range of specialty healthcare services including: cardiac surgery, 24 hour emergency/trauma, diagnostic services, psychiatry and outpatient clinics.
A new patient full exam/diagnosis will cost a Kelowna resident about $75 for. To see the costs of specific dental services in BC, check the British Columbia Dental Association (BCDA) 2021 dental fee guide (PDF). On average, Canadians spend ~$380 per year ($32 per month) on dental care.
Elementary & Secondary Schools
Kelowna offers numerous options for elementary and high schools - both public and private. Some of the best, top-rated public schools include Anne McCLymont Elementary, Mar Jok Elementary, Okanagan Mission Secondary, and Kelowna Secondary. The top elementary schools are “Lady of Lourdes”, Aberdeen Hall, and St. Joseph - all private schools. Tuition for Kelowna’s private schools range from about $6,000 to $16,000 per year.
StudentAid BC offers post secondary students financial aid with loans, grants and scholarships. Without StudentAid coverage, post secondary students can expect to incur a range of costs that are institution and program specific
Okanagan college domestic students will pay an average of $450 per individual academic course including tuition and other fees ($4,500 per year)
UBC Okanagan domestic students can be expected to pay about $600 per individual academic course including tuition ($6,000 per year)
Local Activities & Things to Do in Kelowna
Kelowna is a destination for outdoorsy types, as well as those who prefer to enjoy scenic natural views from a comfortable patio. Downtown Kelowna offers many restaurants to stir up an appetite after the day’s excursions. To enjoy a taste of downtown’s best, Okanagan Foodie Tours offers 3 hour tasting experiences to connect with the city and other food fanatics, starting around $95/person.
Kelowna is a golf lover’s paradise with 19 scenic courses within 1 hour drive, including some that are open year round. Green fees can range from around $65 to $150 for 18 holes (including cart rental).
For those who enjoy just a taste of nature, going on a Kelowna wine tour delivers the experience of a lifetime for all of your senses, starting at around $120/person. The more adventurous types will enjoy pristine biking and hiking trails, such as the popular, no entry-fee Kettle Valley Trail, just 40 minutes drive from town. You can rent bikes in the KVR parking lot for about $40 per person.
Winter sports enthusiasts living in Kelowna love being close to Big White Ski Resort - just 1 hour drive from town. Skiers and snowboarders of all experience levels can enjoy this snowy landscape, which costs $100+ for a full-day lift pass (excluding gear rentals).
The Kangaroo Creek Farm is a unique experience for the whole family. Just a 20 minute drive from Kelowna center, the Kangaroo farm is like a mini trip to Australia. You can get up close and personal with baby kangaroos, wallabies, capybaras & other friendly hobby farm pets. This one of a kind experience costs $12 for adults and $6 for children 5 and over.
Total Cost of Living in Kelowna for 2021-2022
According to Numbeo, the average cost of living in Kelowna comes to about $4,080 for a family of four, and $1,128 for a single person (excluding housing costs).
Kelowna, BC Cost of Living Calculation
The table below shows you the cost of living in Kelowna including housing costs, with figures shown for renting a 1 bedroom apartment and owning a single-family home with a mortgage of $675K ($900K principle with 25% down).
Monthly housing cost
Total monthly cost of living in Kelowna
Renting 1 bed apartment (individual)
Renting 2 bed apartment (individual)
Single-family home with mortgage (family of four)
Monthly expense data source: Numbeo.com
Compared to Vancouver, the cost of living in Kelowna is 5% less expensive (excluding rent). With a rental cost that is 22% lower than Vancouver on average, you can save between 15 to 30% on your monthly expenses while living in one of the most beautiful and desirable locations in British Columbia.
The population of Kelowna has been growing at an average pace of 1.9%, making it the fastest growing city in Canada. Not only is this great for economic progress, it also foreshadows a bustling job market, demand for home prices, and overall progress. Kelowna is now considered to be one of the best locations in BC for real estate investments (2021 and 2022).
What salary do I need to live in Kelowna?
Based on our 2022-2023 average cost of living, you’ll need a salary of at least $64,000 to live comfortably in Kelowna. If you’re a family of 4, you’ll need a combined salary of at least $120,000 to live in Kelowna in 2022.
Ready to make the move to Kelowna and live the Okanagan lifestyle?
Let’s find your dream home. Schedule a coffee with Vantage West Realty.