Survival of the Richest, Chapter Two
Kelowna housing prices continue to rise with REMAX Western Canada forecasting a five percent growth for 2021.
Regional Executive Vice President Elton Ash says as of February, the benchmark price for Central Okanagan is $776,300 for single family homes - up 17.5 percent from the previous year.
"How we measure things is benchmark price, because average price can get skewed when a very expensive lakeshore property sells. What we do is we look at a benchmark price which is determined by what the average home itself is like."
Add condos and townhouses to the mix, the average residential home price in Kelowna as of October 2020 was $553,175 - up 5.6 percent from 2019.
Ash says the top market driver currently is move-over buyers, "A homeowner that currently owns a home and for various reasons of lifestyle wants or needs is changing their home locally. That is the vast majority of the Kelowna market."
So, if you're a family of four in Kelowna making the median family income of $88,000, how much house can you afford?
RateHub.ca offers an affordability calculator - just plug in your income and expenses and let technology do the work.
Five year fixed mortgage, 30 year amorization, a 20 percent down payment, and a mortgage rate just above two percent. RateHub says you can buy a house for up to $565,000 - but that's with no additional expenses. That makes your monthly mortgage payment just shy of $1,700.
RATESDOTCA Mortgage Editor Robert McLister says that's lower than the city's average for a 20 percent down, "In Kelowna home prices are still reasonable versus the national average. About a $2,300 average mortgage payment per month, that compares quite favourably with almost $2,000 national average."
So, how do Kelowna house prices compare to the rest of BC and Canada?
REMAX lists Vancouver's average residential home price at $1.27-million for 2020 - more than double that of Kelowna. Kelowna has lower home prices than compared to major markets like Victoria and Toronto, but continues to surpass house costs for markets like Calgary and Winnipeg.
And house prices are forecast to rise for 2021 - with REMAX Western Canada estimating the average residential home price in Kelowna will be $580,000.