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Finding a place to live in Merritt is not easy. It’s a simple case of supply and demand, and right now the supply is basically zero. Q101 spoke with Deanna Palmgren, from Merritt Property Management, about the current state of Merritt’s rental market or lack there of, beginning with the zero percent vacancy rate.

“I still see some advertisements on social media in the private rental market. But I’m going to say it’s below zero in my opinion,” said Palmgren. “It means we definitely have more people looking than we have supply. We are unable to fulfill the applications that come in for rental. So, to us that makes it zero or less.”

“Right now, the number of applications we have we’re unable to fill them with any rentals available. Even telling them to seek advice through the other property management companies, through the newspaper, through the Merritt Morning Market and through social media. We ask our clients to continue to look everywhere possible to find a place that fits their needs,” said Palmgren.

She also spoke to workers coming to town with the new grow-op production site and the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“Do we need that much housing? I highly believe we do. Some of the commercial business that is coming to town, for example one of the bigger ones is the grow-op production and the potential pipeline. Workers are going to need to be housed, right now there is no housing for anybody,” said Palmgren.

Palmgren fully supports new development in town, believing the new units will help settle the market.

“What I believe will happen is a little bit of a shakedown. There are people currently living in not necessarily the style of living they’re accustomed to. I can see a lot of people in those situations moving into a newer development, something newer, more up to date, maybe not a basement suite, something lighter something brighter. I think what that might do is open up some of our downtown rental availability for those requiring lower affordable rent,” said Palmgren.

“In my opinion rent in Merritt right now is high,” said Palmgren. “We have a group of people that can definitely afford nice places to live and we have a group of people that really just can afford a roof over their head. So, once everyone does their moving around and figuring out exactly where they want to live, I believe that rent is going to come down to a more affordable rate for all walks of life.”

 

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