John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

At the top of the list this morning is a rumour from Naramata about some changes and a development. This rumour just keeps getting bigger. Down by the lake where the old packing house was situated there is said to be plans for a large care home facility for those looking for a new experience. Also, the pub is to be included in the deal. They are to clean up the cement and rebar from that site this fall.

I understand from the source that helped me out on this one that a Chinese consortium is the money behind this project. The site is beautiful. It will bring some jobs to the community.


With the opening of the new Target Store in Orchard Plaza, a new era began for the 22-year-old shopping centre. They began a preliminary remake of the site before the Target store came into the market. The owners said it is time for a remodel of the entire plaza and that has been approved and will be happening. The work done at the Target location included new pavement and redesign of their parking.  Now the rest of the plaza will be redesigned with new facings on the buildings and a real spruce up for the property. It has always be a beautiful shopping experience for Kelowna and the grounds have been first class since it opened twenty-two years ago. It was always the intention of the owners to keep it that way.


This is a big two months for Target stores across the country as they are opening twenty-three stores in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. All stores are to be opened by October 18th. The company is trying to be very careful about how they do things in Quebec because of the amateurish mistakes made by Wal-Mart when they went into Quebec. The first thing that happened was a flyer in English. They still have to tackle Newfoundland. Their goal is 122 stores to be opened before the end of the year.


We have got Direct Buy working the phones again. The phone rings and it is a well spoken, friendly lady who explains who they are.

I sat there and waited to hear the pitch and her question was, “Are you in the market for some new furniture and appliances?”

I replied, “Yes.”

She seemed excited. “Could you tell me what you are planning to buy?"

“No I replied, it's none of your business.”

She hung up abruptly.


I started out trying to count the Tim Hortons locations and every time I ended the count I had less than what should have been the number. When we came to town thirty-five years ago there were none, then a few years later we had two with the one down by the old bridge baking all the donuts. There are still more in the future I’m sure. For a couple of years I thought the donut man was coming to the corner of Spall and Springfield Road but something didn’t go right and that just didn’t happen.

There are rumours of another "Tims" for West Kelowna and I thought a family was interested in trying Peachland.


If you’re a dill pickle eater and you know the salt is bad for your health I have found something for you. Bick’s has a new Baby Dill and of course there is garlic but less salt.


Predator Ridge has just published their third edition of Tee Times and it looks good with lots of information. It looks like a good promotion for the golf community as they certainly do a lot of good stuff to attract people to their site.


We were out for lunch the other day at the Gasthaus restaurant in Peachland.  We were on the porch when this incredible three-wheeled motorcycle pulled up in front and parked and the couple got off and came into the restaurant.

This was a red gem and my friend with me at the table said the rear on the machine was from a 57 Pontiac. It was beautiful and so classy.  I will have to interview those people and compliment them on their super looking machine. It looked hand crafted although I don’t know for sure.


The Krieg family in Kelowna puts this Real Estate list together for me every month. Julie, Wolf and Colin are available for consultation at 250-868-8000.


Single Family Dwelling (SFD) sales reached 209 this August which is 14% above August 2012 and was again like the last 4 months, over our 22 year average of sales.

The highest number of sales in any August...read more.


The number of active listings is 1,477 which is 11.7% lower than August 2012. YTD the total listings taken is 6% lower than the same period last year.

Percentage of Listings vs. Sales

14.2% of the listing inventory sold in August, which is similar to last month. As you can see in the graph below, we are just under a balanced market. Between 15% and 25% of the listings selling is considered a balanced market.

Average Price

The average price here in Kelowna is stable and was $480,530 last month.  This is similar to last month as well as August 2012.

Year to Date, we are...read more.

Million $ Plus

The MLS system shows that a total of 15 properties sold in August over $1 Million (one reached over $2 Million). These were: 3 Acreages, 3 Lakefront Homes, 8 Single Family Dwellings and 1 Town Home on the lake.


This is the fourth month in a row since April that we are above the average of 22 years from 1991 until now in sales in the SFD. We bounced back from 2008, but not to same level as in the mid 2000s. Canada is doing well, as you can see on the reports and we are getting our share especially with our Alberta friends. The activity is still mostly under $700,000 representing 89% of all sales in the SFD (Single Family Dwelling) category. Big improvement in the market, but still very competitive for the seller. We are experiencing extremely high traffic on well priced properties and double offers, which tells us the buyers are out there and acting when they can see a good deal.


Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, John Thomson.  While we are sure that every care has been taken in the compilation of this information and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur.

Castanet will not be held responsible for any claims, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.


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About the Author

John Thomson is the Okanagan's pre-eminent business columnist writing his column, Rumours and Things, for over 24 years. Plugged in to the valley's who's who, John keeps his readers coming back for more with his straight talk and optimistic perspective on where we are headed next.

When John is not writing his column, he runs a sixteen year old think tank called the Executive Roundtable and holds his popular "Thomson Presents" quarterly business speaker seminars.

Have a comment, question, or tip for John? 

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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