BC’s Okanagan Experiencing the Benefits of Lower Mainland Lack of Housing Affordablity

Kelowna, BC – The lack of housing affordability in the Lower Mainland is helping to shore up the Okanagan and Vancouver Island real estate markets. “Our company markets new real estate projects in Kelowna and near Nanaimo and interest from Vancouver area buyers is strong” says Mark West President of Kelowna based Epic Real Estate Solutions Inc. “We are seeing two distinct segments, those who can’t afford to get into the Vancouver market typically younger professional families and those who are selling with large financial gains from the meteoric rise in their property values” adds West. Homes priced under $500,000 are being snapped up by young families. Homes in the $750,000 to $1.5MM range are attracting the equity rich baby boomers looking move for lifestyle reasons.

Alberta real estate buyers have dropped to about 6.9% of the Okanagan market compared to 15%-20% historically. Lower mainland buyers now make up over 12% of the market rising from 5% historically. The majority of real estate trades locally at over 60% of sales. “With the change in buyer demographics we are seeing very strong interest in urban condos and townhomes in the Downtown and South Pandosy redevelopment zones of Kelowna” notes West.

BC will lead economic growth in Canada in 2016 but areas of the province are performing differently. “The key issue right now for the province is there’s a divergence,” said Bryan Yu, a senior economist for B.C. at the Central 1 Credit Union. The southwest of B.C. is growing due to contributions from several sectors of the economy, he said in an interview. Vancouver, and to a lesser extent Victoria, is doing well with strong real estate, construction, tourism, and film and television production industries, some of which is helped by the low Canadian dollar, he said.


Property Type:

22.8% by First Time Buyers (up from 17.4% in December)

20.5% by Move-Up Buyers (down from 23.9%)

14.2% by Buyers Downsizing (down from 18.4%)

14.2% by Relocating and moving to similar property type (NEW FOR 2016)

11.8% buying Revenue/Investment Property (down from 15.4%)

4.7% moving from Single Family Home to Strata Unit (down from 12.9%)

3.9% buying Recreation Property (up from 3.7%)

3.1% moving from Strata Property to Single Family Home (down from 6.0%)

3.1% moving into Retirement Home/Seniors Community (up from 2.0%)

Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):

26.2% Two Parent Family/Children (down from 27.1% in December)

21.5% Couple without Children (down from 22.7%)

19.2% Single Female (up from 10.8%)

16.2% Single Male (up from 10.3%)

13.8% Empty Nester/Retired (down from 26.1%)

3.1% Single Parent with Children (up from 2.5%)

Moving From:

63.1% from Within OMREB Board Area (up from 58.3% in December)

12.3% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island (up from 10.8%)

6.9% from Alberta (down from 13.2%)

6.9% from Other Areas in BC (down from 8.8%)

5.4% from Outside Canada (up from 4.4%)

3.1% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes (up from 2.9%)

2.3% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba (up from 1.0%)

0% from NWT/Yukon (up from 0.5%)

For more information contact Mark West at mark@epicres.com or call 1.866.679.3742 ext 201


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