How the Toronto, Vancouver and Kelowna Real Estate Markets Compare


Following the steep curve of its cousins in Vancouver and Toronto, in April the Kelowna real estate market smashed its all-time residential sales record.


While Calgary, and Alberta in general, is seeing home prices and demand fall, and fall hard, three Canadian cities are on an upswing with seemingly no end in sight. Here is a closer look at what’s happing in the Toronto, Vancouver and Kelowna Real Estate markets.

The market:
Kelowna Real Estate (Moving like it’s 2007)

What’s happening: At the beginning of 2016, industry experts predicted BC would see a flood in home sales. They were wrong. The increase in home sales in Kelowna has been a landslide with no end in sight.

In fact, according to a recent Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) report, April saw an all-time record of residential sales with 1,069 sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®). The previous record took place in May 2007, when 1,015 unit sales were recorded. 

Sales are up, and so are prices: The average MLS® residential price was up 13.4 per cent to $459,595 compared to April 2015.

What’s driving the storm of activity in the Kelowna real estate market? Part of it can be attributed to the fallout of Alberta’s oil slump, low interest rates and locals, and out-priced buyers. Buyers are coming from the Lower Mainland and beyond to make the dive for more affordable housing.

What the market means for sellers: Without question, any Kelowna realtor will tell you this is a good time to be a seller. 

“Record consumer demand combined with the fewest active residential listings since 2007 has created sellers’ market conditions in many neighbourhoods and across most home types,” says Anthony Bastiaanssen, OMREB president and active Realtor®. “This imbalance is leading to upward pressure on home prices in the region.”

What the market means for buyers: Fewer options for higher priced homes means buyers set on making a purchase this summer could pay a little more to get into the right home, and they may have to act a little more quickly. As the potential for bidding wars rises, it’ll be all the more important to have a professional Realtor® who understands Kelowna real estate guiding the process to help ensure sound decisions.

The market: Vancouver Real Estate (Still Riding an Enormous Wave)

What’s happening: Reports from the real estate board in Vancouver also shows gains rarely seen before. In March, Vancouver’s benchmark price spiked 23.2 per cent compared to the same month last year. Many industry experts suggest there’s a bit of a panic-buying bubble happening here. This phase, as a Maclean’s article suggests, often sees people “throwing caution to the wind” so they don’t miss out on investment opportunities. Hence the cycle of more demand and higher prices.

What that means for sellers: Yeah, this is a seller’s market. So far, rising prices and increased demand (with sales growth outpacing new listings) hasn’t cooled things down. Instead, prices simply continue to go up.

What that means for buyers: Higher prices than you might have hoped for and considering other neighbourhoods. Having a real estate agent who knows what’s for sale before it’s listed is key.

The market: Toronto (Welcome to the Jungle)

What’s happening: It takes homebuyers months, or seconds, to land their home. They have to consider other neighbourhoods, or stay where they are and renovate. Especially if they’d been hoping of upsizing into a detached home. Finding and finalizing the paperwork on ‘the right home’ requires the luck of lotteries, alignments of stars, first and second-born sons…

Needless to say, home prices are still soaring (benchmark prices here recently spiked 11.6 per cent compared last March). While more condos are being added to the market, detached homes in desirable neighbourhoods are still diamonds in the rough.

What that means for sellers: Toronto sellers, many of whom are skipping out of Ontario to buy Kelowna real estate (exchanging their townhomes for luxury homes), also have the upper hand, often with a stack of offers to choose from within hours of going on the market. 

What that means for buyers: Good luck! And with your professional real estate agent, bring a very, very big down payment.


Are you looking to take advantage of the times and sell or invest in Kelowna real estate? Make sure you’re getting sound advice backed by results and testimonials of buyers and sellers like you. Find a Kelowna realtor you can trust at Quincy Vrecko & Associates. Call 1-250-863-8810.