The 2021 Real Estate market has been like never before, and the prices of homes have experienced a huge jump overall with some of the lowest inventory we have seen. Big White is no exception: Steve Hyndman specializes in recreation properties and gives us the inside look into the Big White market, what has caused this shift and what we can expect to see as a result of this crazy market!

Big White real estate market QVA

How has the Big White Market Changed in 2021?

Before the pandemic, Big White had a very balanced market, I would even say it was a buyer’s market. Due to covid, Big White sales have started to explode and that has caused inventory to dry up.

 

 

 

What has caused this shift in the 2021 Big White Real Estate Market?

 

  • The Rental Market is Hot 

Many factors have contributed to the shift we are seeing in the 2021 Big White market. The pandemic has caused many of the people that currently own Big White properties to rethink listing in the current climate. Since Big White is a winter recreational resort, they are usually secondary properties and tend to bring in great rental income, especially now that the rent has gone up due to more people staying local and travel has become less frequent.

Big White real estate market

  • Out of Town Buyers

Another major factor in the low inventory is a high number of out-of-town buyers that are ‘safe haven’ buying. Big white is a great place to self-isolate and offers guaranteed rental income. The pandemic has caused interest rates to go down, and that has a huge effect on the movement of Big White properties as well.

  • Low-Interest Rate

Because the interest rate is so low right now, it is making recreation properties more serviceable in terms of debt load, and this is causing buyers from all over a jump on the opportunity!

  • Small Market

Big White has always been a smaller market and it is a great selling point. A lot of people buy at Big White because it provides a great feeling of community, has some of the best Ski-in & Ski-out properties, and is close to major cities. Big white being a small resort has caused it to be very reactionary to the changes we have been seeing in the 2021 Real Estate Market overall.

How do you think Big White will continue to be affected?

Big White has always been a more affordable option in the Okanagan, but recently it has exceeded the last market peak in 2008. In the past 8 to 10 years, there hasn’t been much development, and I predict this will change in the next 2 to 5 years. Prices at  Big White are back up but there have not been any new builds, meaning no new inventory has been added to the market in almost a decade! That sounds like an untapped opportunity. I think you can expect to see new developments and expansion at Big White.

 

 

The current real estate market has been anything but quiet, things are moving fast. But what does this mean for lots and new builds? We asked some questions to our lot and new build expert Chris Ward, who recently celebrated 30 years with RE/MAX. His expertise shone some light on this confusing yet exciting market.

 

Tell me about the differences you’ve noticed in this 2020-2021 real estate market when it comes to lots and new builds.

Last year, in 2020, lots were stagnant and inventory levels were not tremendously affected. With the advent of COVID-19, particularly this year, inventory levels of existing homes increased and the focus was turned towards building lots, and they started to disappear at a tremendous rate. Right now, anything that is finished is probably sold or has an offer on it.

 

If lots are going so fast, how does this affect new builds?

The challenge for the builders, because of COVID and a variety of other manufacturing issues, is that lumber is up 140%. Everything tin related such as furnaces are up 30%. Lumber and building supplies escalation clauses are being put in place in purchase agreements. This is a significant change and slows building down. Because of the increased cost, we haven’t seen homes come onto the market quite as quickly as the lot sales indicate, but they’re coming.

 

When should we be able to see the new builds from these lot sales?

I would say probably in the fall. It usually takes 6 to 8 months to build a 2500sqft house, depending on where you’re at. So, if lots have sold in March, they’ll be ready by the end of the year. We should see lots of new home products, finished products, on the market towards the end of the year and the beginning of next year.

 

In your opinion, was it a better investment to build yourself in the past compared to today?

Good question, because everything went up, houses are selling over the listing price, so what does that mean for new builds? New builds go in at a fixed cost, so probably will still be the same. There are times in the market when existing is cheaper than built, and there are times when built isn’t necessarily cheaper but there’s more of them available. I’ve been selling new products since around 1991. In 2003-2005, I was getting builders to buy lots, selling houses out of a catalog. Because at the time you could find lots.

 

What else has surprised you in the current real estate market?

In January we had a 30-lot subdivision for sale with only 3 deals on them. Now, they’re all sold, buts it’s mostly due to out-of-town builders. The market for the Okanagan became much more widespread than it was before. We used to get 6% of buyers from the coast, now the numbers from the lower mainland have surged, and along with them came the builders. Lots of different trends have happened, not since the start of COVID, but mostly since the start of this year. 2020 was not that affected, we still had good inventory levels. It all happened in 2021, I think because COVID has settled in and people don’t really see an end in sight, so they’re changing their focus.

 

What would be your advice for people looking to buy a lot and build in this market?

I still think it’s a really good idea. What you do have to understand is that you might not be able to get a definitive price, and if you’re a high ratio buyer, that’s not a safe place to be. If you have 20% down, it’s a really good place to be. But you do need patience because they’re having a hard time getting supplies, it won’t be finished for months. What used to take 8 months now can take 10 to 12. So as long as you’re not in a rush and have a place to stay, you’re good to go!

In this market, many are considering relocating to Kelowna. Relocating is an exciting and uncertain time, with so much unfamiliarity coming your way, preparation is key. We spoke to Drew Irvine, our Wilden Luxury specialist, on the most exciting neighborhoods of Kelowna and what they can bring to your dream Okanagan lifestyle.

 

Drew, tell us about the most sought-after neighborhoods and what makes them ideal for relocation to the Okanagan?

Okanagan living is like no other. With sunshine and endless activities, choosing the right neighborhood for you is of most importance. Wilden is absolutely one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Kelowna, with its modern homes, incredible lake views, and ideal location. Quite similar is the neighborhood of High Pointe in the lower Glenmore area. In South Kelowna, Kettle Valley and Lower Mission are also great options. On the other side of the bridge, the Mission Hill Winery area is beautiful and boasts amazing views. All these neighborhoods have great locations, beautiful homes and are close to all amenities.

 

 

You specialize in Wilden Luxury homes, what makes this neighborhood so special?

Wilden is known for its amazing city, valley and lake views, and luxurious homes. Most of the homes are brand new construction or built in the last 5 years, which means no renovations are required and these homes are move-in ready. Additionally, they often feature great outdoor living spaces and inground pools.  Wilden also has a really great, quiet community. The location is more than ideal, about halfway in between downtown Kelowna and the airport. With a 10-minute drive to the yacht club, Wilden is the best way to have stunning views in a quiet area and still be close to the lake and cultural center. Not to mention the amazing hiking trails and golf courses nearby. It’s an ideal neighborhood for someone looking to enjoy the Okanagan lifestyle.

 

Speaking of the Okanagan lifestyle, tell us more about it and how Wilden caters to it?

Of course, the Okanagan lifestyle is known for its amazing weather. For example, Toronto summers in comparison are extremely sticky and humid, making the heat unbearable. Kelowna summers are dry, long, and pleasant. Perfect for enjoying the lake and patios. Winters are shorter and much milder than the rest of Canada, and if you’re looking to enjoy some winter activities, Big White Ski Resort is a short way away. In the Okanagan Valley, you’re also avoiding all the Vancouver rain. Additionally, Kelowna is growing and developing some amazing areas. Downtown is becoming a great cultural center. Kelowna General Hospital is an amazing teaching hospital, which recently included a heart center. This is a great thing to have right in your city. Relocating to Kelowna brings you the perfect blend of city living and quiet nature. With its beaches, hiking trails, golf courses, wineries, patios, and tons of beautiful neighborhoods to choose from. Wilden brings all of that together and adds luxury to the blend. With these turn-key modern properties, you’re ready to move in and start enjoying the lifestyle right away!

2021 Real Estate Market

Sure the current real estate market is red hot but what does that mean to you as a Buyer or as a Seller? What are your options? How do you navigate this crazy market to make it work for you?

 

The state of Real Estate: This real estate series is an inside look and professional advice on what the heck is going on in this 2021 market! The current real estate market is certainly interesting and unpredictable. The Kelowna real estate market is changing on a daily basis and is proving to be frustrating for both buyers and sellers. Where common catchphrases of this past year include the “new normal” and “social distancing”, in the real estate world, these phrases are “multiple offers” and “seller’s market”. However, one common phrase they both have in common …unprecedented.

 

“The New Normal”

How is this “new normal” changing the face of real estate as we know it? We reach out to each team member at Quincy Vrecko and Associates to discuss their professional thoughts on every aspect of how the market is changing and their experience with the current real estate market.

 

 

 

In this series we will cover:

• Multiple offers from the perspective of the buyer and the seller
• Relocating to Kelowna
• New home construction and lot sales
• Luxury housing market
• Condominiums and townhouses

 

Over the last year, the pandemic brought some unexpected changes. What was about to happen following the lockdown was clearly unpredictable to even to the best of those in the know. In March 2020, CMHC forecasted an 18% decrease in property values and warned of a crash in the real estate market.

What a difference a year makes…

Fast forward to March 2021 and the current real estate market is registering record-breaking sales week after week. With the average price of single-family homes hitting an astonishing $900 000 sellers are in the driver’s seat and buyers are being left in the dust.

 

Sellers

As a seller, while the market is in your favor, you should not just have anyone representing your largest investment. Setting up the listing for success is the key to realizing the top dollar for your home. Photos and virtual tours are key tools to present your home not only with restrictions due to Covid but to a large number of out-of-town buyers. Currently, out-of-town buyers make up 41% of our overall homebuyers in the Okanagan.

 

Buyers

If you are a buyer in this market, it is more important than ever to have proper representation. An experienced agent on your side making sure you have the upper hand at securing a property over other bidders. An experienced agent with a strong connection will give you the upper hand in getting you in the right home at the right place.

 

 

 

 

Check-in each week as we discuss topics related to the current real estate market situation and answer questions from buyers and sellers. We look to the experience and expertise of the team members at Quincy Vrecko and Associates, one of the top teams for Re/MAX Kelowna. Every team member will offer their advice and suggestions on how to stay sane in this truly crazy real estate market.

Charlene Kelowna Realtor

Why have you stayed in Kelowna all these years?

I’ve stayed in Kelowna all these years because this is home to me. This is where my family is, this is where I grew up, where I went to school, where I raised my daughter, where I am my happiest.

Why do you love Kelowna?

I love everything about Kelowna but the thing I love most is the weather! I love that we have 4 distinct seasons each beautiful its own way!

 

Charlene top Kelowna Realtor

What do you like to do in Kelowna?

My favorite things to do in Kelowna are going to Rocket’s games, going to the Actor’s Studio, and walking along the many beaches.

This is home

My love for Kelowna is deep-rooted and I can’t imagine living anywhere else!

Move to Kelowna From Saskatchewan

Why did you move to Kelowna from Saskatchewan?

I first started thinking about the move when my partner, Landon and I were just sitting in our freezing car in the middle of January on a -45 degree morning. We sat there complaining about how awful it was and decided we couldn’t do another winter like this. That started our journey to B.C. I wasn’t set on any particular city, I just knew I loved this province and it was where I wanted to start planting roots. As we did our research on the major cities in B.C, Kelowna became an obvious choice. It had everything, endless outdoor adventures, opportunity and it wasn’t too big. Five months later we had everything we owned strapped to our car and we hit the road!

 

What do you love about Kelowna

Kelowna never ceases to amaze me. Every day I drive by Gyro beach and I still pull over to admire the view. It is such a breathtaking city. The mountains, the lake, I could stare at them all day. I thought when I left Sask (Land of the Living Skies) I would miss the sunsets but the Okanagan has not let me down if anything they are even better because you can hike any one of the amazing mountains around Kelowna and REALLY see the gorgeous sunsets from a perspective I had back home.   

What do you like to do in Kelowna?

The outdoor lifestyle is huge here in Kelowna. One of my favorite places is Cedar creek, it’s a beautiful beach but also a dog park which makes it my go-to with my two dogs. The water is so clear and it’s the best place to catch the sunset. Since I have been in Kelowna, I have been on too many hikes to count and I am always finding new ones to add to the list. My next adventure is to conquer the skill of snowboarding this upcoming season! 

What do you miss about your hometown?

The only thing I miss about Sask is my family and friends, I left everyone when I moved to Kelowna. It was a big change to go from a huge family to not knowing anyone other than Landon, don’t get me wrong it has been so much fun meeting new people and figuring out who I want to be out here but my family will always keep me tied to Saskatchewan. Well at least until I can convince them to move out here too!

Since making the move to Kelowna I have not looked back since. Not only do I live in one of the most beautiful places, but I also feel like I belong here. I have had so many great opportunities since and I know there are many more waiting for me. I am so excited about my future here in the great OK.

Moving to Kelowna

vineard with lakeview Quincy Vrecko Luxury Real Estate

The Kelowna real estate market is hot as the area is attracting new residents moving to Kelowna. The Okanagan offers a lifestyle like no other making Kelowna a very attractive place to live. This 4 seasons playground has it all:

  • Skiing
  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Award-winning golf courses
  • Vineyards and wineries
  • Incredible restaurants
    Just to name a few!

 

In this blog series, we highlight every member of our team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates and why we love to call Kelowna home. These Kelowna realtors have moved to Kelowna from all over Canada including Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and other cities in BC. And can you guess which one was born and raised right here in Kelowna?

Follow our August blog series to find out where our team members are from and why they all chose to call this incredible city home.

 

 

If you are thinking of moving to Kelowna, the Quincy Vrecko and Associates website has valuable information to get to know the different

Kelowna Relocation Guide Quincy Vrecko Kelowna Real Estate

areas.

  • Download our Kelowna Relocation guide. This guide highlights the Kelowna lifestyle with listings of wineries and golf courses and the best of Kelowna.
  • Explore what each great neighborhood in Kelowna, West Kelowna, and Peachland has to offer with our Neighborhoods page.
  • Questions about what to expect when buying a home in Kelowna, check out our FAQ page. Or hop onto our Live Chat where one of our agents is waiting to answer any questions.
  • Browse our listing of homes for sale. We have everything from condos and townhouses, family homes for sale, retirement communities to luxury properties, and waterfront homes for sale. Whether you are moving to Kelowna soon or just dreaming for the future, these listings are definitely worth checking out.

 

Meet the team of top real estate agents in About us. Our team of professional real estate agents have a wealth of knowledge and can make moving to Kelowna a great experience.

Find a connection with one of our team members and start your search.

Tracey and Quincy: Making the move from Calgary to Kelowna

 

Quincy and Tracey Vrecko have lived in Kelowna for over 10 years and are proud to call Kelowna home.  Originally from separate parts of Canada, they lived together in Calgary for 12 years before deciding on making the move from Calgary to Kelowna.  Together with a toddler in tow and another baby on the way, they established roots in the Okanagan and never looked back. 

We talk to Tracey and Quincy Vrecko to find out what brought them to Kelowna and why they love calling the Okanagan home with their 2 boys Gabriel and Paxton.  

Why did you make the move from Calgary to Kelowna?

Tracey- Quincy and I were expecting our second child and we were looking for a better balance in our work/home life.  Calgary is a great city but our needs for our family changed.  I had never been to Kelowna but my uncle Mike who lived here over 65 years always raved it was the best place in Canada to live.  Old uncle Mike was right!

Quincy- I was working for a car dealership at the time and an opportunity came up to transfer to either Kelowna or Victoria.  I grew up on the island and always loved it there but I was intrigued by the Okanagan lifestyle.  I was sold on making the move from Calgary to Kelowna once I saw what it had to offer our family.  

What do you love about Kelowna?

Tracey-Now this is something Quincy and I can agree on!  There are so many things we love about Kelowna.  After we made the move from Calgary to Kelowna, our focus was for more quality family time.  Kelowna offers a great lifestyle where we can be out with our boys 365 days a year.  There is a sense of community in Kelowna that you don’t have in big cities.  We have made great friends, created a home for our family and we love the life we have here. 

What are your favorite things to do in Kelowna?

Quincy-We love to be outdoors. Our family are avid skiers and snowboarders and we love to get out snowmobiling in the backcountry.  In the summer we are out on the boat or swimming in the pool.  

Tracey- I love to discover new hikes with my friends.  We love the mountains and the lake and try to get out there as much as possible. 

What do you miss about your hometown?

Tracey- That would depend if we were talking Winnipeg or Calgary.  If we are talking Winnipeg, it would be my family.  I grew up in Winnipeg and most of my family still live there.  My parents are in the same home I grew up in so when I go back to visit, it’s nostalgic.  Calgary was a fun city.  It’s where Quincy and I met and started our family.  I miss walking along the bow river and our weekends in Banff.  Great memories!

Quincy-Yes Calgary was fun.  I miss camping in the Rockies.  Tracey and I would tent every weekend in the summer and ski/snowboard in the winter.  Our 12 years in Calgary were great but when we arrived in Kelowna, I never looked back.  

 

No Regrets

Our move from Calgary to Kelowna also brought me closer to the Island where I grew up.  I missed the ocean and now I have an opportunity to visit the island more often. 

We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful area of Canada.  The Okanagan has so much to offer our family and we look forward to our long future here.  Give us a call to talk about making the move!

 

 

 

 

Let’s be honest, we are all worried and confused about whats going on in this world as COVID 19 makes its way around the globe. Trying to find ways to keep busy (and sane) but we often forget that if we lean on one another we can help each other get through this in a much more positive way. During these challenging and chaotic times, we really need to support each other and our community. But with so much uncertainty is difficult to find ways to give back and support one another. If you are looking for ways to spend your time and help our Kelowna community we have put together a few ideas that may help.

Support our local businesses

Krafty

We all know this pandemic is likely to cause an economic impact. How big an impact? We aren’t quite sure yet, but one thing we do know is that small businesses are going to be hit the hardest. As non-essential businesses are forced to close or switch to take out and delivery. These amazing businesses that are truly part of what makes our community so great are struggling to meet ends meet. This is where our Kelowna community can step in and support. By going to our local grocery or ordering delivery from our favorite restaurant we are doing our part to keep these businesses afloat. Local markets are a great place to shop right now as they are smaller and generally have less traffic. Making them safer and quicker since you won’t have to wait in lines. When you shop at a local market you are not only supporting that market but all of the local vendors as well.

 If shopping local isn’t something you are wanting to do another way you can help is by leaving a review on your local businesses google page. When this pandemic passes and things go back to normal, google reviews are how many people source out the best restaurants, groceries, bars, etc. Adding a good review can help these businesses tremendously and you don’t have to spend a dime!  

Help the Vulnerable People in Our Community

Local Market

There are people in our Kelowna community that need our help, There are many ways to help the vulnerable people in our community. A great way to lend a hand is to buy groceries for those who are self-isolating or are more vulnerable in our community. Grocery shopping is a huge stress for people that are at risk. By grabbing some extra groceries while you are at the grocery store you are not only helping the vulnerable people in our Kelowna community, but you are also mitigating the amount of traffic that goes in and out of these stores. Facebook groups are a great way to find who needs help and connect with those that can support the vulnerable people of our Kelowna community.

For some of us, our weekly trip to the market is what we look forward to. Finally, we get to leave the house! But others aren’t that lucky. The people of our Kelowna community that have to stay isolated, do not get a break from the loneliness that comes with the pandemic. Another way you can help is to pick up your phone and call a loved one that has been in isolation and just talk, let them know that they are not alone. It’s also important to remember that not everyone has a family or a loved one and small gestures from neighbors go a long way. 

REMAX HeartsBe Kind

At times this pandemic has felt anxiety-inducing and overwhelming making it hard to stay positive and see the good in others. Being kind is one of the only things we can control right now and it makes a great difference. Most essential workers are exhausted trying to keep up with demand and new regulations, grocery stores and hospitals are two of the many essential services that are working hard to make sure our community is supported.  A great way that we can help during this chaos is by showing compassion, patience, and kindness. We have seen kindness and support come alive in many ways this last month whether it be people reach out to help our high-risk individuals or putting hearts in your windows for the dedicated healthcare workers. This pandemic has shown how we can come together as a Kelowna community and support each other. Being kind and mindful of the people in our Kelowna community can go a long way and is a reminder that we are in this together.

“Kindness, empathy, gratitude is also contagious, more contagious than the corona,” said Dr. Carrington on CTV Morning Live Edmonton

No matter how big or small any help makes a difference and there are countless ways to support each other. As much as it feels like it: You are not alone. Our team is committed to supporting our community. If there is anything we can do to help please reach out to (250)868-3602 and we will do whatever we can to support.

Virtual Real Estate-Talk to a Realtor in Kelowna

Live Chat

As we all adjust to a new way of living, we want to be able to stay connected.  While we all are doing our part to social distance, we have a way to stay connected with our clients and members of our community.  

With the use of Live Chat, you can talk to a Realtor from one of the top real estate teams in Kelowna.  The team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates stay connected using this top technology.   

Not a robot or automated system but one of our licensed team members will be online 9-9 every day.  Talk to a Realtor in Kelowna on your schedule, when you want.  

 

Quincy Vrecko and Associates team member, Charlene Volk, explains why Live Chat is a great way to stay connected.  

“Live chat is a quick and effective way of communicating your needs.  Often when homebuyers are browsing listings, they want quick answers to questions in the moment.  And we make it easy by giving real-time answers to any questions. From simple to complex, a licensed real estate agent is online.”  

How is Live Chat different from picking up the phone or sending an email?

“Calling to talk to a Realtor or sending an email can be time-consuming.  Especially if you are inquiring about multiple properties listed for sale.  Live chat allows you to ask specific questions on any property and is controlled by you, the consumer. You get real-time answers from a licensed real estate agent.”

Do you have to provide personal information such as email or phone number?

“No. That’s why Live chat is so easy.  You can browse every home for sale in Kelowna and the surrounding area from one location. You can ask as many (or as little) questions as you like.  There is no obligation, just information.”

 

QVA Real EstateVisit our website at QuincyVrecko.com and the Live chat window will pop up and you can talk to a Realtor when you want, how you want.   

Find properties for sale in Kelowna and surrounding area

Discuss market trends and statistics

Ask questions about best neighborhoods in Kelowna 

Find out about new developments 

Ask questions about current rates and taxes

Or just to chat about the weather!

 

 

Charlene Volk has been a Realtor in Kelowna for over 15 years and is one of the agents on call to answer your questions.  Click here to read Charlene’s full bio.