Kelowna project aimed at helping first time home buyers has official groundbreaking

Construction on the Revo development will begin in the spring of 2024. Global News

Owning a home isn’t easy these days, especially for young people in the Okanagan.

“I’m 24. I don’t think many people my age think they’ll be able to afford a home ever, ” said Kelowna  resident Olivia Galick.

With skyrocketing costs, home ownership has become nearly impossible for millennials and Gen Z.

“I just plan on renting until I can or just with my boyfriend eventually, but I think we’d have to have two jobs for sure,” said 23-year-old Dana Barclay.

It’s left many young people feeling hopeless.

“I used to be pretty optimistic that I could buy something here but I don’t think so anymore,” said 30-year-old Logan Trenholm.

On Wednesday  ground was broken on a construction project in Kelowna, which its developers hope will bridge the rental ownership gap for the younger demographic.

Story continues below advertisement

“What this type of development does is it lowers the barrier of entry for first-time homebuyers,” said Ryan Tamblyn, CEO of Millennial Developments.

“And people that essentially, up until this point, have been shut out of the market.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. government to unveil municipal housing targets'
B.C. government to unveil municipal housing targets

Called Revo, the 240-unit building will offer smaller units than traditional ones.

Get the day's top news, political, economic, and current affairs headlines, delivered to your inbox once a day.

Get daily National news

Get the day's top news, political, economic, and current affairs headlines, delivered to your inbox once a day.
By providing your email address, you have read and agree to Global News' Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

“We’re creating these smaller living spaces. What the unique thing we’re doing is that they’re combined with ample amenity space so that it becomes an extension of the living environment,” Tamblyn said.

The units include studio suites as small as 314 square feet all the way to townhomes at just over 1,000 square feet.

“Because we’re able to decrease the size a little bit, we’re able to offer them at a more affordable price point,” Tamblyn said.

Story continues below advertisement

The starting price for the smallest units will start in the upper $200,000 range.

“Although they may not live in this home for the next 20 years,  it enables them a stepping stone where they can get into the housing market, you know, participate in that equity growth, and then springboard to let’s say a townhouse and then eventually a single-family house,” Tamblyn said.

Kelowna mortgage broker Michelle Scheibel said young people are increasingly having to get financial help with their first home purchase.

“Parents helping is becoming a lot more of a thing, especially over even the last like couple years,” said Scheibel, who is with RM Mortgages.

The longtime mortgage broker added that first-time home buyers are often shocked to find out what their mortgage payments will look like.

“Their expectation of what they think they can afford, they can’t,” Scheibel said. “The reality of what’s available just isn’t really there because of the price is going up so much.”

Millennial Developments is currently building ‘Five Crossings’, a similar development to Revo.

Tamblyn said the speed at which those units sold is an indication of the interest in this type of housing.

“We were able to sell that development out in 72 hours and that was 207 units,” Tamblyn said.

Story continues below advertisement

Construction on Revo will begin in the spring of 2024.

Click to play video: '2 new housing initiatives unveiled by B.C. government'
2 new housing initiatives unveiled by B.C. government

Sponsored content