It’s getting harder and harder to buy a house in Kelowna and surrounding communities, according to statistics outlined in a recent housing assessment report.
According to a report from Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO), the average house price for a single-detached home in the district has increased by 70 per cent between 2012 and 2018.
Kelowna still remains the most out-of-reach place for first-time homebuyers with a single detached house costing $779,000 on average.
Lake Country is the second costliest place to buy a single-detached home, which the average house price in the community costing almost $738,000. Central Okanagan West places in third, with an average single-detached house there costing almost $733,000.
“Couples earning the median income are the only household group in the region that can afford the average condominium apartment,” the report said.
“Purchasing a townhouse or single detached home is out of reach for households earning the median RDCO income.”
According to the report, a median annual income for a couple is $90,899 or $7,574 per month. For a single person the median annual income is $35,883 or $2,990 per month.
Given this income data, a couple earning $90,899 can purchase a home for $395,943, which includes the required 10 per cent down payment.
“Given the average sales price for an apartment is $347,131 in the Regional District, most couple households earning the median income and above should be able to find an apartment they can afford to purchase within 30 per cent of their gross incomes, but not a townhouse or a single-detached house.”
The report acknowledges the labour industry is already being negatively impacted with the high house prices in the region.
“Stakeholders indicate there are no longer any ‘starter home’ options for households just entering the market,”.
“This has become a challenge for attracting employees and younger people to the region.”
The B.C. government implemented a number of measures in 2018 in an attempt to cool regional real estate markets, which included an increase to the foreign buyers tax and a new speculation tax in Kelowna and other cities.