4 Things to Consider
Have you noticed how quickly those ‘SOLD’ stickers are being wrapped around real estate signs in some Kelowna neighbourhoods? Have you heard stories about neighbours getting incredible above-asking offers within minutes of listing? Perhaps you’ve heard about Kelowna being called BC’s choice ‘zoom town.’ If you’re wondering what all this means for you and if this is a good time to sell your home in Kelowna, we want to help you understand everything that’s impacting the market, and why this may—or may not—be a good time to sell.
1. Motivated Move-over Buyers
While first-time homebuyers and move-up buyers are attracted to lower mortgage rates, Kelowna’s home sales trend has increased in move-over buyers this past year. Unlike a move-up buyer, who seeks to upgrade into a more substantial home, a move-over buyer is looking to relocate from a larger urban centre into a smaller city or suburb.
Many are crediting the pandemic as one reason people are leaving more populous areas such as the Lower Mainland for the Central Okanagan, and why house sales are going up.
Jane Hoffman REALTOR® Tyler Bouck says he has had the privilege of working with various out-of-town buyers from BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec this past year.
“All of them came from different stages of their lives. One theme was that people couldn’t travel internationally, so they came to the Okanagan and were blown away by its beauty. That confirmed to them that this was a place they wanted to invest in and keep coming back to, with most making plans to spend most of their time here.” Tyler Bouck, REALTOR® & Personal Real Estate Corporation (PREC)
Move-over buyers are motivated by less expensive real estate and amenities and attractions in their neighbourhoods, leading us to our next reason why Kelowna is an attractive place for move-over buyers.
2. Kelowna is Fast Becoming a ‘Zoom-Town’
As remote work becomes more popular than ever, people are investing in real estate in smaller cities that have everything a larger centre has, and more. While remote workers have traditionally lived in smaller mountainous or coastal regions that attract tourists and students, now that most people can work from home and bring their jobs with them, zoom towns have attracted more serious investors, making home sales go through the proverbial roof.
As a modern-day ‘zoom-town,’ Kelowna is attractive to buyers because it has a university, a growing high-tech sector, and significant tourism draws.
“The great thing about our city and region is that it’s so diverse,” Tyler says. “In the summer, it’s pretty easy to see the boat traffic and the allure of the lake. However, if COVID has taught me anything, it is how great our trails and area is for mountain biking and hiking. We have world-class wineries, great restaurants and golf courses. For winter enthusiasts, Big White and Silver Star offer everything from alpine skiing to snowshoeing to cross-country.”
3. Kelowna’s Core is Expanding
Located more than 450 kilometres east of Vancouver, Kelowna is far from being a bedroom community. With the news of the University of British Columbia placing a tower downtown, along with the construction of multi-family, mixed-use high-rises and office towers, and the Clement industrial area’s construction, Kelowna’s densification is on the rise.
With the added attractiveness of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions and Okanagan Lake beaches, trails, and parks just walking distance away, more people are moving to downtown Kelowna to work, live, and play, and not worry about driving everywhere.
So how does this affect real estate sales? As more people move into the city, land values tend to increase, helping those who own large lots and can subdivide.
While luxury waterfront homes near downtown, including Knox Mountain and Pandosy, are still an attractive option for many sellers and buyers, this new diversification downtown will help those looking to expand their property holdings or downsize to a more manageable residence.
“I am excited to see the future growth of our downtown core and think it will be a great place for further investment for both residential and commercial/retail business,” Tyler says.
4. If You Sell Your Home, Where Will You Go?
Right now, in Kelowna’s real estate market, with a big surge in demand and mortgage rates at all-time lows, we’re seeing a significant shortage of inventory. That means, there aren’t enough home sales to meet demand. So, what we help our clients consider is, while you may be able to sell your home quickly and at a good price, do you need to buy in Kelowna?
If so, it’s possible that your just-right next home may take a little longer to appear or it may cost a little more than it might have a year ago.
- Do you have a rental property you can move into?
- Are you prepared to pay Air BnB rates for an extended period?
- Do you have family in Kelowna you could stay with if you had to?
According to Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB), the Central Okanagan real estate market has seen a strong spike in sales since the fall. Out of 2,151 active listings in November, 658 units were listed, and 698 sold, equating to $473,873,690 in sales and a 97.35 percent list-sell ratio. Compare this to November 2019 numbers, which saw 2,808 active listings, with 587 new listings and only 405 units sold for a total of $243,400,747 in sales.
Jane Hoffman Realty’s team includes experts who specialize in all of Kelowna’s property types, which helps ensure we can best support you both in the selling and buying stages at this unique time. Learn more about our vast experience buying and selling Kelowna waterfront properties, and how we help clients win with our all-for-one approach.
As Kelowna’s top luxury real estate specialists, Coldwell Banker Jane Hoffman Realty works with buyers and sellers looking to invest in all types of properties. Contact us at 1-888-535-6962 to see how we can meet all of your real estate goals.