Skyrocketing prices haven’t slowed the B.C. housing market, and realtors are reaping the benefits through higher commissions and multiple sales – but just who is driving this frenzy to buy?
“The typical home buyer from out of town is an empty-nester who is relocating for lifestyle and younger families who want to ‘beat the rush’ to Canada's paradise,” says Myrna Park of Century 21 Assurance, when asked about the Kelowna market. “We have seen many foreign investors interested in orchards and wineries, but that is in its beginning stages.”
The usual knock on the B.C. market has been price, but Park cites a number of factors that usually aren’t considered when media headlines take aim at multi-million dollar Vancouver housing prices.
“Our prices are not that different from the places our clients are moving from; and when you take into account reduced utility and property tax costs, they are ahead of the game,” she says. “To be clear, I don't know that our utility costs are lower, but we rarely have minus 10 degrees winters, so our utility bills are far less than the rest of the country when the weather is minus 30 Celsius.”
To meet the demand of people coming to Kelowna, housing development has increased – along with urban densities.
“The new buyer wants to have the time to enjoy the lifestyle, so the era of ‘big yards’ is behind us,” says Park.
According to a recent Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board Service monthly buyers’ survey, a large segment of those buying consisted of retirees and empty nesters:
- empty nesters or retired 24.13%
- two-parent families with children 24.13%
- couples without children 21.33%
- single males 15.73%
- single females 12.59%
- single parent with children 4.2%
- other 0.7%
“As you can see by the numbers, there is a good mix of new homebuyers in the Okanagan market,” says Park. “There is plenty of room in our marketplace for experienced agents from across the country to re-establish themselves and develop a thriving real estate practice in Kelowna."
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Located downtown Kelowna, on Highway 97, CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd. occupies a newly renovated space that has been called the most innovative in the industry. It is a vibrant real estate brokerage, boasting a team of high performing agents. Based on production, this relatively small office of about 50 agents is currently ranked #20 among the almost 500 Century 21 offices in Canada.
Want to know more about making CENTURY 21 Assurance your new home? Take a look at our video at www.whyc21.com
and contact Myrna Park, managing broker/partner (firstname.lastname@example.org
) at 250-869-0101.