Real Estate has been a hot topic over the last year. 2016 brought forward new mortgage rules and other changes in regulations by both federal and provincial governments in an attempt to facilitate stability in the red hot housing market in major metropolitan centers like Vancouver and Toronto. Closer to home the Central Okanagan has been experiencing fantastic growth, in fact Kelowna is growing 3 times as fast as Victoria and Vancouver. The reality for many who relocate here is that they can get twice the house for half the investment, and that’s an attractive proposition to consider. Many are drawn to the beauty of the region as it’s an amazing place to live combined with the fact that the Okanagan has sustained stable growth in our real estate market, this makes it a great investment as well as a great place to call home.
The Okanagan is one of the fastest-growing areas of Canada, and Kelowna is driving that growth. This increase comes mainly from strong overseas investment combined with an increase of interest from Alberta and the Lower Mainland – a mix of established semi-retirees from Alberta and young professional 30-somethings from Vancouver. Both are looking to maximize their real estate investment while also enjoying a comfortable standard of living. The truth facing many investors is that $500,000 may get you an 800 sq. ft. townhome or condo in Vancouver, while a comparable investment in the Okanagan could land them a 2,800 sq. ft. single family home.
There have been some positive developments at the beginning of 2017 as more first time home buyers may be able to realize the dream of ownership with the help of a recently announced BC government program that assists first time buyers with repayable down payment assistance loan. Statistics suggest that Kelowna property values might still have room to grow, especially if we continue to experience the ‘spill over’ from Vancouver. According to a recent report by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, this “would likely push average prices closer to the top of the wide forecast range as buyers migrating from this region may bring with them significant purchasing power which could push prices higher.” Despite an increase in property values in the Okanagan, for those in inflated markets, it’s still an attractive trade.
Central Okanagan Real Estate Statistics
The 2016 single family home prices rose 16.95% on average and the median price rose 14.94%. Days-on-market dropped from 65 to an average of 51 days. For all residential sales, average prices were up 13.75%, the median price rose 10.51% and the days-on-market dropped from 75 to 57 days. Dollar sales rose 41.46% over 2015 with unit sales rising 26.5%. Sales activity is expected to continue to grow steadily in 2017, but at a slower rate in comparison to 2016. The attractiveness of our region, coupled with our affordability in comparison to Vancouver, is bringing a number of homebuyers into the Kelowna area.
Predictions are looking positive for 2017 while buyers and sellers watch intently. Given that so many changes have and are happening, real estate professionals are at the top of their game when it comes to navigating the local market.
“The market is in a constant state of change and this, along with other factors that can affect real estate transactions, is why I encourage both buyers and sellers to consider consulting a Realtor. Just as importantly, and because markets and the conditions that affect them can be quite different, region to region, I advise engaging a Realtor who is well-versed in both the local market and the product type of interest,” comments OMREB President, Anthony Bastiaanssen.
Buying or selling a home in the Okanagan? Work with a realtor in Kelowna that will provide the genuine service you deserve. Sean Skuter brings knowledge, experience and professionalism to your real estate experience. His passion and excitement about the growth in the valley is second only to his commitment to helping find the right home or property for you.
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