In March 2015, five $1 million+ homes were sold in the region; in March 2016, that number was 27!


If March home sales are even a slight indication of things to come in May

The Okanagan real estate and Kelowna luxury real estate markets will be just as hot as spring’s record-breaking temperatures. prices are up, days on market down and rising competition for the best luxury properties. Buyers and sellers alike are wondering what’s driving the spike in sales? 

In its March press release, the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) said the local real estate market is more than gaining momentum. 

“Home sales were exceptionally strong in March,” said Anthony Bastiaanssen, OMREB president and an active local Realtor®. “The spring housing market is now shaping up to be one of the most active on record.”

Across the valley, 847 residential properties were sold last month—the valley’s second strongest March on record (home sales reached a record 892 units in March 2007). When it comes to luxury properties, the number of home sales more than quadrupled: In March 2015, five $1 million+ homes were sold in the region; in March 2016, that number was 27!

In the central zone—Peachland to Lake Country: 

  • Transactions of all property types were up 24 percent to 636 units. Compared to March 2015, which saw 513 units sold. February 2016 saw 447 units sold. 
  • The average MLS® residential price was up 9.6 percent. 

What’s driving the boom?

1. Migration from the Lower Mainland, the Prairies, and Ontario.

With its fair weather, extended outdoor activity seasons and breathtaking views, the Okanagan has always been a choice place to live. In 2015, despite, and perhaps as a result of Alberta’s oil slump, Canada’s housing market had an incredibly strong year. A trend forecasted to continue in 2016 and particularly so for BC. Laid-off oilpatch executives are converting vacation homes into primary residences and oilfield workers are now migrating to BC for work.

Learn more in our post How is Alberta’s Oil Slump Increasing Kelowna Luxury Real Estate Prices?

2. Record-breaking temperatures

In the world of luxury real estate, spring is always a busy time as discerning homebuyers wait for the snow to melt to travel to other cities for viewings, where they’ll be able to see just how the estate—its master landscaping, dock, beachfront, and views—will look during the season they’ll want to make the most of their Okanagan home. 

This year, however, spring came early not just in the Okanagan, but across the west. Many cities are breaking records with temperatures in the mid-twenties. This gave the ‘spring rush’ in real estate an early start.

3. Rock-bottom interest rates

The Bank of Canada, as of mid-April, elected to cut its benchmark lending rate to just 0.5 percent, in part to help stimulate the economy. While homebuyers in the market for Kelowna luxury real estate tend not to have mortgages, there can be a domino effect on inventory when owners of ‘average’ homes are able to upgrade.

What does the booming market mean for luxury buyers and sellers? 

According to OMREB, with active listings on the MLS® were down nearly 19 percent from a year ago, there’s now more upward pressure on the market, particularly in the luxury market, where inventory is already sparse. 

“Market conditions are now favoring home sellers in many neighborhoods, and, as a result, competition is increasing for the best properties,” said Bastiaanssen.

Are you ready to invest in luxury real estate in Kelowna? Want to take advantage of market conditions to sell your property? Trust the real estate professionals who specialize in buying and selling $1 million+ properties. Call Quincy Vrecko & Associates at 250-863-8810.