KELOWNA, B.C – Stronger consumer confidence across the country, low interest rates and a weakened loonie has helped improve real estate sales in Kelowna.
Sales improved 14.5 per cent over sales in March of 2013, with increased interest from Alberta buyers, according to the Spring Market Trends Report from RE/MAX.
“This year’s looking very positive and robust for Kelowna,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “We’ve got the oil patch, especially the oil sands. We’ve got direct flights to Fort McMurray. We’ve got the high tech sector doing well in Kelowna. We’ve got recreational property.
The increased interest in Kelowna real estate is no surprise to interior designers who are seeing people move to the Okanagan looking to own a piece of paradise.
“They’re lifestyle people and they come here to do things and experience what as locals we take for granted,” says Carla Bond-Fisher, owner of Sticks and Stones Design Group. “With the lifestyle, the food, the wine, the lake, the summer, the winter, all activities, it’s just a very special place with not a lot of people.”
While some continue to build large summer homes, many are building houses to make the Okanagan their home.
“We have the beach in the summer, and we have downtown shops and it just makes for a really nice atmosphere people to feel like they’re on holiday and they’re living and working here,” says interior designer Laura Van Beek, who also moved here from the Middle East for the lifestyle.
As property sales increase, home inventory has begun to drop in Kelowna, down 10.5 per cent from the same time last year.
The median home price in Kelowna is $380,000, but renewed interest in homes over $1 million have driven up the average price.