Tough time for homebuyers
Sponsored Content - Jun 08, 2024 - Think Local

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A construction boom is underway in Kelowna, but not in the way potential homebuyers might hope.

The sights and sounds of development might suggest a thriving market ripe for investment; the reality is quite different. The new buildings cropping up, particularly around key areas like the downtown core and Capri Landmark, are predominantly rental units—not properties available for purchase.

Jeff Anderson of Vantage West Property Sales gets emotional talking about the current situation, as he believes many do not realize just how few properties there are for sale. Rise on Glenmore Road, for instance, has only 10 townhomes for sale, and Eminence, at the base of Knox Mountain, has fewer than 50 homes remaining. Anderson says there are just 23 listings available for under $1 million in the Glenmore area, which means it will take only a few months for them to all disappear.

Meanwhile, rental units are sprouting up all over the city, most notably in the Capri-Landmark neighbourhood, thanks to government incentives.

“My heart bleeds for people, because they just don’t see what’s happening,” Anderson says. “I’m getting a little emotional about it right now, because as a company we care and we try to educate and we try to inform, and people just aren’t listening. It’s great that we’re going to have some housing in regards to rentals, but then when they get absorbed, where people are going to go?”

Anderson warns that, without a shift in development focus, the local market could see a generation of permanent renters, unable to access the traditional wealth-building avenue of real estate investment.

For those considering buying, the advice is clear: act now. With properties like the Nolita development offering units at $599,900—for downtown living and blocks away from Okanagan Lake—and with manageable down payments and extended build times, there are still opportunities to enter the market. However, these are limited and likely to be absorbed quickly given the current trends.

The situation in Kelowna serves as a stark reminder of the critical balance needed in urban planning and development. While rental units are essential for short-term housing needs, the long-term health of the housing market also depends on the availability of purchasable homes that allow individuals to invest in their futures. Without it, many potential buyers may find themselves permanently on the outside looking in, as the window to own a piece of Kelowna closes steadily.

“What people need to understand about pre-sales is your your ability to jump in now,” Anderson says. “I have a development, Anacapri, that is offering a five percent deposit only. That’s it. And then you have 12 to 14 months for build out. You don’t have to get a mortgage. You don’t have to worry about a strata payment. Nothing. You have 12 to 14 months to get your affairs in order and come in with five percent down.”

Anderson will keep spreading the word about buying and hoping people will get into the market as soon as they can, whether it’s for one of his projects or someone else’s. Interest rates are likely to drop soon, and there are going to be even more homebuyers flooding the market.

“I want to sell a million doors,” he says, “because then I know I helped a million people with the potential for financial stability for their families.”

More information about Vantage West Property Sales can be found on its website here.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.

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