Millennials looking to buy their first home and Baby Boomers entering retirement are some of the driving forces behind the current strong showing of the Kelowna real estate market, says a Kelowna real estate company.
Vantage West Realty Group has released a year-over-year study of Central Okanagan home sales that looks at market trends for 15 local neighbourhoods.
Topping the list are double-digit home price increases in Black Mountain, Lower/Upper Mission and West Kelowna Estates.
“With a beautiful golf course, access to a network of trails, green spaces and close proximity to Big White Ski Resort, we can expect to see Black Mountain continue to thrive,” said realtor A.J. Hazzi, author the semi-annual report.
“In The Mission, properties are selling faster, and for more money, across all property types.”
The report says single family home prices are up 23 per cent in Black Mountain, the Lower/Upper Mission and West Kelowna Estates. Average sales prices are nearing the million-dollar price in both Lower/Upper Mission and Southeast Kelowna/Crawford areas. An “average” home in Black Mountain now boasts 3,000-square-feet and sells for an average of $750,000.
The average sale price of town-homes showed the biggest increase of any property type in Lower/Upper Mission at nearly 25 per cent, adds the report.
The Lower/Upper Mission area is proving popular with “cashed up” Vancouver and Alberta buyers, says Hazzi and will continue to see upward pressure on prices. “We expect to see a trend towards baby boomers selling their homes in the Upper Mission to occupy town-homes and condos in the Lower Mission, while cashed-up Generation X buyers snap up their big homes on the hill.”
Downtown, the north and south ends have seen homes move into the low $700,000 range from from the mid-$400,000 range as city council has added to the mix with allowance for infill housing in select areas.
Up to four dwellings on a typical 50-foot by 120-foot city lot are now allowed under the RU7 zone.
Rutland has experienced terrific growth evenly across all property types, says the report. The average sales price increase year-over-year is 20 per cent, five times the regional average for single-family homes.
And a duplex in Rutland that could have been purchased for $550,000 last year, can now fetch $750,000.
The report also highlights a downsizing trend in home size in Kelowna’s luxury market, with homes ranging from 3,500-square-feet to 4,500-square-feet. Of all luxury properties currently selling for more than $1 million, more than half are the “executive-style” new homes typically found in the hills surrounding the city with beautiful views. “Teardowns” and rebuild construction is active along Lakeshore Drive and the Abbott Street Corridor.
“With some exciting new towers and luxury town-home complexes coming, we may expect to see condos and town-homes carving out their fair share of the million-dollar-plus market in the years to come,” predicted Hazzi.
Lake Country is also boasting an increase in sales, but with relative affordability compared to other neighbourhoods. An averaged-sized 975-square-foot condo there can be bought for under $280,000. In West Kelowna, Shannon Lake still represents one of the most affordable family-friendly neighbourhoods with an average 1,750 -square-foot town-house selling for just under $470,000.