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Real estate board says vacation home buyers part of market surge

Vacation homes sales hot

The real estate board that represents the Okanagan says the COVID-19 pandemic has created even more demand for out-of-province buyers seeking vacation homes in the region.

The Association of Interior Realtors released its February numbers on Wednesday, and it found that the South Okanagan in particular experienced a huge jump in activity last month. The total number of sales in the region, which is from Summerland to Eastgate Manning Park, had 130% more sales than it did in February 2020.

“We are seeing a noticeable increase on various types of recreation and vacation homes sales suitable for all seasons,” AIR president Kim Heizmann said in a press release. “Due to COVID related travel restrictions and limitations, more and more inter-provincial buyers are taking the opportunity to create vacation opportunities within B.C.”

The number of listings continues to be lower than normal, which is pushing prices higher across the board. The benchmark price for a single-family home in Central Okanagan is up 17.5% compared to this time last year at $776,300. The same type of house in the North Okanagan has a benchmark price of $561,500, which represents an 18.2% increase over February 2020.

“Shortage of supply is still an issue, with inventory struggling to meet demand, particularly when it comes to single-family homes” Heizmann said.

AIR does not calculate benchmark prices in the South Okanagan, but the area’s average single-family home price is up 21.6% over last year at $762,587.

February benchmark prices for townhouses, and condominiums and apartments had year-over-year increases in both Central and North Okanagan.



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