What areas in the Okanagan are still the perfect investment choice

Whether you’re buying, selling, or simply dreaming of your next home in beautiful Kelowna, chances are you’ve heard about the province’s new regulations on short-term rentals (STRs) in BC. These provincial regulations, which came into effect on May 1, 2024, have sent ripples through the industry, particularly affecting those using, or planning to use platforms like Airbnb and VRBO.

HOW THIS AFFECTS KELOWNA

The City of Kelowna has gone one step further and enacted strict regulations that essentially prohibit short-term rentals (STRs) in single and multi-family homes.

The City’s Zoning Bylaw currently defines STRs as 29 days or less, but it will soon align with provincial legislation, which defines it as less than 90 consecutive days. The fee for short-term rentals with a valid business licence is $345.

The hard and fast of it is, even those property owners with a valid short term rental license prior to these new regulations may be impacted by these new prohibitive provincial and municipal measure.


WEST KELOWNA BUCKS THE TREND

In an interesting turn of events, however, there’s an intriguing development worth noting, and that’s the situation in West Kelowna.

Unlike its counterpart across the bridge, the City of West Kelowna has been permitted to “opt out” of the stringent restrictions on short-term rentals, due to its higher vacancy rate.

This means for investors eyeing the lucrative potential of platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, this decision represents a golden opportunity.


PREDATOR RIDGE TAKES A STAND

Notably, prior to the enactment of the STR, Predator Ridge—one of Canada’s leading four-season resort communities—successfully advocated on behalf of its residents to be exempt from the restrictions. Located in Vernon, just north of Kelowna, Predator Ridge’s award-winning homes are set among two of Canada’s top golf courses, offering exceptional accommodation and unmatched health, wellness, and connection amenities.

As a result of their proactive efforts, Predator Ridge was confirmed exempt from the short-term rental regulations in March of this year. Their advocacy led to a shift in the regulation’s wording, allowing stratas that operate like a hotel—with services such as a front desk, housekeeping, and a reservation system, similar to those at Predator Ridge—to be exempt.


INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

By choosing to remain open to short-term rentals and by taking a stand for its community, West Kelowna and Predator Ridge have positioned themselves as an attractive destination for buyers, which is also good news for sellers.

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to capitalize on the booming tourism industry or a prospective buyer seeking investment opportunities, West Kelowna and Predator Ridge’s stance on short-term rentals offers a unique advantage in today’s competitive real estate market.

Let’s explore some of the neighbourhoods that are now exempt from the new regulations and why they represent excellent investment opportunities.

Barona Beach

Guests can experience the quintessential Okanagan lifestyle at Barona Beach’s lakefront community. With 600 feet of private sandy beach, a salt-water pool, hot tub, indoor gym, and more, Barona Beach offers unparalleled amenities for a memorable short- or long-term stay.

Boucherie Beach

Known to visitors and locals as the little “oasis” on the lake. Preserving the magic of its inception in 1963, this collection of 35 cottages reflects the timeless charm of its family-friendly design. This landmark property has been a sanctuary for countless families, drawing them back across generations.

Lakeview Heights & Casa Loma Resort

A sought-after enclave in West Kelowna boasting breathtaking lake and mountain vistas, expansive properties, and a peaceful atmosphere. Homes here showcase a timeless American contemporary architecture. Tucked within this picturesque neighbourhood lies Casa Loma Resort, where short and long-term rentals are available.

The Cove Lakeside Resort

A serene lakeside sanctuary offering secluded suites amidst stunning gardens. With 600 feet of waterfront, sandy beach, and a plethora of amenities including pools, hot tubs, and a spa, it’s the ideal investment for short-term rentals. Close to downtown Kelowna and surrounded by wineries and ski trails, it promises year-round appeal for guests seeking relaxation and convenience.


LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Only time will tell whether these government regulations will achieve their intended outcome of creating more housing supply. Looking ahead, it is hoped that an increase in inventory will lead to a relaxation of prohibitive measures, allowing real estate investors and homeowners to leverage their property assets and create opportunities to earn income.

Connect with our brokerage to discover more exceptional Okanagan neighbourhoods and investment opportunities.
Call (250) 866-0088 or email us at jane@janehoffman.com