Hot spot for Western-based investors

Record-high prices in Vancouver are forcing investors to target outlying markets, which is proving to be a very lucrative strategy.

The Okanagan valley is experiencing an influx of buyers and, indeed, investors intent on escaping the unaffordability of Vancouver in favour enjoying the picturesque beauty the region offers.

“I think it’s the because the market in Vancouver is extremely active and buoyant and people realize they’ve worked hard and sacrificed 15 years ago when they bought and prices were still higher [than the rest of Canada],” Randy Kowalchuk, president of Naramata Benchlands, told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “The air is better, the food tastes better, and many careers can now be done remotely. It’s an easier lifestyle.”

While many investors are now targeting the region, the time may be running out to snag a good deal.

According to the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board, sales in the region were up 35.5% in May year-over-year and the average price was $486,636 – up from $459,595 the previous month.

However, developers are taking note and flocking to produce additional inventory.

“While short supply is having an effect on prices, housing starts are up dramatically,” Anthony Bastiaanssen, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the central Okanagan, said. “Hopefully, we’ll see the situation ease as new supply comes on the market.”

And while the price appreciation is certainly drawing investors, so is the lifestyle on offer in the region.
“It’s the lifestyle, in one word; the lack of density in the Okanagan, the abundance of lakes,” Curt Jansen, vice president of sales and marketing for Skaha Hills, told CREW. “Within a half hour you can ski, you can visit 150 wineries.

“You’ve got really everything you’d want in an urban centre but also one of the best landscapes and climates in the world.”


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