Home prices in the central Okanagan have been steadily rising for some time but new numbers released this week show prices continue to soar.
According to the Royal LePage House Survey report, the Kelowna area saw significant increases during the first quarter of 2017.
The average price of a home surged 14.4 per cent year-over-year to $581,770.
The selling price of an average two-storey home jumped 11.4 per cent to $662,317. The price of a bungalow rose 14.6 per cent to $548,279. Condominiums saw the biggest jump, climbing by 29.1 per cent year-over-year to sit at $417,960.
“It’s probably the most affordable segment of the market,” Kelowna realtor Lora Proskiw said. “You should be able to get a two bedroom condo under $500,000. You could not get a single detached house for that easily in this town.”
The rising prices are being attributed to a very low inventory.
Kelowna isn’t the only city dealing with a low supply of homes for sale. It’s a trend happening across the Okanagan and beyond.
“Inventory across OMREB (Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board) from Revelstoke right to Peachland is down 37 per cent year-over-year,” OMREB president Tanis Read said. “That’s significant.”
The low supply of homes has created a seller’s market allowing the people listing their homes to get top dollar.
“Kelowna’s market is incredibly strong right now,” Royal LePage Kelowna owner and broker Francis Braam said. “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.”
The low inventory has resulted in buyers competing with multiple offers when trying to buy a house. For many, it’s also meant a lengthy search to find and purchase a house.
“I feel really sorry for the buyers right now,” Proskiw said. “There’s a lot of frustration but yet there’s a sense of urgency so it just doesn’t feel good. They feel they have to make decisions a lot quicker than they feel comfortable doing.”
Because of the competitive real estate market, industry experts advise buyers to be pre-approved for a mortgage and have all their finances in order before starting the process of buying a home.