The Kelowna housing market saw a substantial loss in sales activity during the peak of COVID-19. As economies gradually begin to reopen, the market has seen an equally substantial increase in activity as buyers and sellers alike try to make up for lost time.
Both the average saes price and the number of sales this July have matched or surpassed those of 2019. The region is experiencing greater interest in single-family homes and land, as the recent condo insurance premiums appear to have dampened interest in the condo market. As travel restrictions continue to be in place, a large majority of sales are expected to continue to be from the local Kelowna Board region and greater British Columbia.
During these unprecedented times, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it though to predict how the 2020 Kelowna housing market will finish. If the last couple of months are any indication of where we are heading, 2020 should end with a strong upward trend.
While COVID-19 lockdowns in March and April slowed down the housing market in Western Canada, transactions in Kelowna, Saskatoon and Vancouver resumed by May, with sales in both May and June surpassing year-over-year levels. Many buyers put their plans on hold at the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns, but they returned to the market quickly to make up for lost time. Edmonton’s housing market quickly bounced back to pre-COVID levels in June, while Saskatoon experienced its busiest June in years; this momentum is anticipated to continue into the fall market, with RE/MAX brokers and agents estimating a three-per-cent increase in average residential sale prices for the remainder of the year. Overall, brokers and agents in Western Canada say the potential buyers they are talking to are not too concerned with a potential second wave of COVID-19 impacting their real estate journey, and RE/MAX brokers are estimating steady activity to round out 2020.
Leading indicators from RE/MAX brokers and agents across Canada’s housing market point to a strong market for the remainder of 2020. According to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, RE/MAX brokers suggest that the average residential sale price in Canada could increase by 4.6% during the remainder of the year. This is compared to the 3.7% increase that was predicted in late 2019.
The pandemic has prompted many Canadians to reassess their living situations. According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX Canada, 32% of Canadians no longer want to live in large urban centres, and instead would opt for rural or suburban communities. This trend is stronger among Canadians under the age of 55 than those in the 55+ age group.
Not only are Canadians more motivated to leave cities, but changes in work and life dynamics have also shifted their needs and wants for their homes. According to the survey, 44% of Canadians would like a home with more space for personal amenities, such as a pool, balcony or a large yard.
Canadians equally split on their confidence in the housing market
Canadians are almost equally split in their confidence in Canada’s real estate market, with 39% as confident as they were prior to the pandemic, and 37% slightly less confident. When it comes to the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19, 56% of Canadians who are feeling confident in Canada’s real estate market are still likely to buy or sell.
“While COVID-19 lockdowns slowed Canada’s housing market at the start of a typically busy spring market, activity bounced back by early summer in many regions, including Vancouver and Toronto,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “Despite the tragic impacts of the pandemic, our optimism in the strength of Canada’s housing market has always remained, and current market activity further exemplifies this. Many homebuyers are now exploring different neighbourhoods that better suit their new lifestyles, and real estate agents are getting busier and working more with buyers from different major cities. According to our brokers and agents across the RE/MAX network, Canada’s fall market is expected to see spring market-like activity.”
Additional highlights from the 2020 RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report Survey:
48% of Canadians would like to live closer to green spaces
48% of Canadians say it’s more important than ever to live in a community close to hospitals and clinics
33% of Canadians would like more square footage in their home and have realized they need more space
44% of Canadians want a home with more outdoor space and personal amenities (i.e. balcony, pool etc.)
About the 2020 RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report
The 2020 RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report includes data and insights supplied by RE/MAX brokerages. RE/MAX brokers and agents are surveyed on market activity and local developments.
The Kelowna housing market is expected to be a balanced market in 2020, with a zero percent residential sale price expectation. After seeing an approximately eight percent decrease year over year in number of sales, the market is expected to adjust and will remain steady into 2020.
There is currently 6.87 months of inventory and these levels are expected to remain similar in 2020. Taxation, weather patterns and Alberta and lower mainland’s economy will have the greatest impact on the Kelowna market in 2020. The projected population growth for B.C. (approximately 50,000 new residents between now and 2040) will also have a large impact on the housing market in the region as we look ahead to the next 3-5 years.
Condos, one-story detached and two-story detached are the most popular properties in Kelowna with Lower Mission and Westbank Centre being two popular neighborhoods for sales. Kelowna North is expected to be the hottest neighbourhood in 2020 due to its proximity to the downtown core, lake and current development growth.
Move-over and first-time home buyers are expected to drive demand in 2020 while luxury home sales in the region have tapered off year over year as a result of the new speculation tax impacting those with another primary residence.
From a national perspective, RE/MAX anticipates a leveling out of the highs and lows that characterized the Canadian housing market in 2019, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, as we move into 2020. Healthy price increases are expected, with an estimated 3.7-per-cent increase in the average national residential sales price.
“The drop in sales in key markets across British Columbia can be partially attributed to Canadians’ increasing difficulty in getting an affordable mortgage in the region,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “The situation created by the introduction of the mortgage stress test this year, as well as continually increasing interest rates, means more Canadians will be priced out of the market.
RE/MAX of Western Canada
Kayley Jackson is an English & Creative Writing graduate, as well as writer and photographer whose love for words and creativity brought her to RE/MAX. As Communications Coordinator at RE/MAX of Western Canada, Kayley creates and oversees content that appeals to buyers and sellers alike, aiming to assist them on their homebuying or selling journey. Kayley carries out public relations, communications and social media content for RE/MAX, which includes creating content and writing for the consumer-facing blog at remax.ca. When she’s not behind the lens of her camera or writing away at her desk, Kayley can be found enjoying the Okanagan lifestyle in Kelowna, BC, where she lives with her fiancé, or daydreaming about where her next travel adventure will take her. Email Kayley at firstname.lastname@example.org.