Want to live in Kelowna? Go ahead

Terrace real estate prices now nearly at par with those of Kelowna, a popular retirement haven

What seemed almost unimaginable even three years ago has arrived.

Property prices here, if not yet on the same level as Kelowna’s, are pretty darn close – so close, in fact, it’s now feasible for people to sell their home here and buy a retirement abode in the central Okanagan city with no, or very reasonable, added cost.

“Absolutely. We’re surging forward and down there, they’re falling back. The gap is closing,” says John Evans from Remax Terrace.

Clients here recently sold an 18-year-old home for $490,000 and purchased a brand new home in the Okanagan, with a view of Okanagan Lake, for $500,000, he said.

“And because it is new, they will pay GST but it is an example of what is possible,” said Evans.

Locals selling homes for less than the above example won’t have much trouble finding something affordable, all things considered, in Kelowna either.

There are numerous apartment-style units on the market in the central Okanagan in the under $200,000 range, the posted average selling price for older and smaller homes in the Terrace area.

Built in 2006, a two-bedroom and one-and-a-half bath suite in a condominium style complex at 1288 Water St. in Kelowna is one example at $175,000. It’s on the Okanagan Lake waterfront close by a major hotel, casino, walking paths and sports complex. There is a monthly maintenance fee.

Someone selling a home here for $350,000, not an untypical price nowadays, can buy 224-511 Yates Road in Kelowna’s Glenmore area.

It’s just minutes from two well-appointed shopping centres and no more than five minutes from Orchard Park Mall, the central Okanagan’s largest shopping complex.

Built in 2008, it’s a strata townhome of 1,156 square feet with an attached garage and comes with all appliances – all for $300,000.

“It’s a good price,” says listing Kelowna real estate Lisa Moldenhauer. “The seller is getting married and is motivated.”

And after a long winter in Kelowna and an even longer one on the Prairies, there’s a pent up demand for housing in Kelowna, she adds.

“Right now 20 per cent of our buyers are coming from out of the province,” said Moldenhauer.

The kind of demand now being experienced in Kelowna and environs is near the level it was in 2008 prior to the recession which affected the market there, she said.