Okanagan’s housing market ripe for infill and redevelopment

Poised for change

Looking back to July of last year, not much has changed since Casey Richardson’s article on the South Okanagan’s “hot” housing market. But this is not unique to the South.

As the lack of housing and land inventory continues to fuel a “seller’s market” throughout the Okanagan Valley, potential and current residents may begin to look towards redevelopment and infill as a viable option.

Many of the homes in the Okanagan are reaching the end of their lifespan and are becoming prime for redevelopment. Many properties also continue to be under-utilized, with the potential for subdivision for another home or the addition of secondary suites, such as carriage homes.

This offers many new options to Okanagan residents, giving them the ability to consider adding additional living space to their current home/property, or even building an entirely new structure where an older home may have previously stood.

This is especially attractive to community members looking to move to, or stay in, a mature neighbourhood, with the amenities and walkability that go along with such areas.

And if industry expert Faith Wilson’s prediction that the luxury real estate market is set to take off in the next five year here, is correct, Okanagan residents seeking new luxury opportunities may begin looking towards infill as well.

For homeowners who already own their lot, they are in the position to potentially build a new home, without the expense of actually purchasing new land. Land aside, redevelopment and infill is a dynamic process and there are expenses that go along with redevelopment that you may not necessarily expect when building on a vacant lot.

Some of these expenses may include abatement of hazardous materials, demolition of existing structures, groundwork, utility upgrades and subdivision costs.

From an investment perspective, vacancy rates continue to be challenging for renters, with both Vernon and Kelowna currently below 1%. That leaves plenty of opportunity for investors to find tenants for newly constructed rental units, both secondary suites and single-family homes.

There are many amazing builders in the Okanagan. To get a clearer perspective of the investment required, and to determine if infill or redevelopment is a good option for you, it’s a great idea to reach out to professional home builders experienced with this process.

James Matte has extensive infill experience and is a project manager with Okanagan development company Harmony Homes.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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