Median prices at both Big White and Sun Peaks suffer big declines in 2023

Ski region home prices fall

Home prices in Canada’s popular ski regions, including Big White and Sun Peaks, have dropped substantially in 2023, according to the Royal LePage Winter Recreational Property Report.

The report, released on Wednesday, showed a 21.3% price decrease for single-family dwellings at Sun Peaks over the first 10 months of 2023. The dip was less severe at Big White, where the median single-family price declined 6.3%.

“Although recreational real estate markets vary greatly from one region to the next, activity on the whole in Canada’s winter recreational communities has noticeably slowed,” Royal LePage’s Pauline Aunger said in a press release. “Annual sales are down in most regions and inventory has climbed modestly as the market continues to regain balance.

“This has not, however, translated to steep price declines in a majority of markets. While the rising cost of living has had an impact on demand for recreational real estate, prices have remained stable due to relatively low supply and sellers’ capacity to hold out for a desirable deal.”

In fact, Aunger said market activity is simply moving back to the way it was before the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a boost of real estate activity.

The median single-family price at Big White dropped from $1.6 million in 2022 to $1.5 million this year. The Sun Peaks price, meanwhile, plunged from $1.54 million to $1.21 million over the last year.

Similar declines occurred in the condo market. Big White’s median mark dropped 9.1% to $500,000, while at Sun Peaks condo prices fell 9.9% to $449,500.

Total sales at Big White were down 30.5% from last year at this time.

“Despite activity being lower than the 2021-2022 pandemic-fuelled boom, we are not experiencing the same downturn that some other recreational markets have seen this year,” Royal LePage Kelowna’s Andrew Braff said. “Big White has transitioned from a community that was slightly overbuilt to one with dwindling inventory, as the few properties for sale are being quickly snapped up.

“As a result of inflation and increased borrowing costs, it is taking longer and becoming more costly to replenish supply, meaning new homes come at a higher premium. Fewer homeowners are choosing to rent out their properties, which is constraining accommodation options for vital resort staff. Although buyers in this market rarely make their purchases with financing, the negativity surrounding interest rates and the economy as a whole has given consumers reason to pause, which has kept prices stable despite low supply levels.”

Royal LePage is forecasting single-family home prices will increase at both Big White (5%) and Sun Peaks (3%) in 2024.

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