The real estate market is off to a hot start in Kelowna in 2017

Kelowna home prices soaring

First quarter of 2017 sees big growth as the area continues to attract homebuyers from the Lower Mainland

Home prices in Kelowna surged ahead in the first quarter of 2017, according to at least one survey of home prices in the region.

The Royal LePage House Price Survey released earlier this year revealed significant increases in Kelowna home prices during the first quarter of 2017. The aggregate price of a home in the region surged 14.4 per cent year-over-year to $581,770.

When broken out by housing type, the region saw double-digit gains across all housing categories surveyed. In the first quarter of 2017, the median price of a two-storey home, bungalow and condominium rose 11.4 per cent, 14.6 per cent and 29.1 per cent year-over-year, to $662,317, $548,279 and $417,960, respectively.

“Kelowna’s market is incredibly strong right now,” said Francis Braam, owner and broker at Royal LePage Kelowna. “The region’s steadily growing population, coupled with an extreme lack of inventory across all housing types, has resulted in a very distinct seller’s market.”

Nationally, Canada’s residential real estate market saw substantial price growth in the first quarter of 2017, increasing 12.6 per cent year-over-year to $574,103. The price of a two-storey home rose 13.9 per cent year-over-year to $681,728, and the price of a bungalow increased 11.0 per cent to $490,018. During the same period, the price of a condominium increased 8.9 per cent to $372,638.

One recent trend is seeing more buyers from the Lower Mainland purchasing in Kelowna, according to the survey.

“Recently, the region has witnessed a significant increase in the number of homebuyers coming into the area from across the Lower Mainland, which has placed strain on the city’s already low housing supply and caused prices to climb,” continued Braam. “Whether it be retirees looking to take advantage of the region’s affordability or younger homebuyers in search of steady employment, people across all demographics are moving to Kelowna.”

While the majority of housing markets in Canada posted modest gains, price appreciation across much of Ontario significantly outpaced the rest of the country. Meanwhile, the pace of year-over-year home price appreciation in Greater Vancouver was noticeably lower than the historic highs witnessed in 2016.

“For the first time in several years, real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto are headed in opposite directions,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “The Vancouver market stalled, as confused consumers took to the sidelines after a series of uncoordinated moves by all three levels of government. With its housing shortage becoming more acute, Toronto easily stepped forward to assume the title of Canada’s most overheated real estate market.”

The Royal LePage House Price Survey provides information on the three most common types of housing in Canada, in 53 of the nation’s largest real estate markets. The company says the Canadian market in general is good, however there are several issues that are affecting it.

“The overall Canadian market is healthier in 2017 than it has been in years, yet the downside risks are greater too,” concluded Soper. “Our economy, which has recovered nicely from the 2014 oil crisis, is sadly dependent on moves by an unpredictable U.S. federal government and can be swayed by unforeseen global events, such as fallout from Europe’s restructuring. Still, housing activity is strong and prices are rising at a healthy mid-single-digit rate across the land. The trend in Alberta, Quebec and Atlantic Canada is particularly encouraging. Our concerns with the state of Canadian real estate begin and end in Toronto and Vancouver.”

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