In May of 2020, when Phase 2 openings began, we saw a surge of pent up demand continued strong into the summer months, with July 2020 showing higher sales than July of 2019.
Average prices have risen, with sellers taking advantage of the feeding frenzy of the marketplace and listing aggressively.
The most interesting thing is that expressly due to COVID 19, we are seeing increased interest in single family home sales.
Travel restrictions have prompted people to seek recreational property within the province and provide safe havens for their families to meet and enjoy quality tome together.
Even when flying becomes normal again, not everyone will want to risk being on a plane. The Kelowna market and its lake life, ski destinations and winery tourism offers a safe, temperate resort oriented alternative to recreational air travel.
The appeal of condos has waned, due in part to rising condo insurance premiums and also the downside of living in proximity to strangers and sharing common areas and close quarters like elevators during the pandemic.
While it is impossible to forecast what the latest round of the pandemic will bring in terms of the market, if we base our prediction upon the past few months’ activity, we will continue to see strong growth in Kelowna.
Residents of larger cities are seeking residences in smaller communities, penthouse dwellers are selling and buying single family homes and transactions from Europe (Germany, Italy and the UK) as well as California have been transpiring in unprecedented numbers via Facetime with buyers purchasing properties subject- free and sight unseen.
Local agents are swamped with Buyer requests and calls from developers sensing the need for more product locally.
The buzz on the street is that there is no real concern about a second wave of the virus having any sort of negative affect on the real estate market.
In fact, due the factors outlined above, it may even work in our favour here in the Okanagan as people from Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan migrate here to spend the winter in a milder climate and fall in love with the beauty of the area.
We are not noticing the “back to school” Fall usual slowdown and anticipate a strong finish to 2020 and a renewed push into 2021.
The other factor impacting future growth is a shortage of product on the market to meet all the demand coming to us from around the world. The Okanagan was recently featured as a Go- To destination in National Geographic magazine, and the New York Times has lauded the area as a quality producer of Napa quality wines. This has garnered worldwide attention from around the globe as people seek out safe options for their families to reside, come together and hunker down away from the noise of the pandemic.
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