Have a plan if you're hoping to cash in on the hot housing market, says Okanagan realtor

The Kamloops and Okanagan real estate markets are seeing a lot more sold signs than for sale signs as a COVID-19 induced market frenzy continues.
The Kamloops and Okanagan real estate markets are seeing a lot more sold signs than for sale signs as a COVID-19 induced market frenzy continues.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. Assessment

A South Okanagan realtor has some advice for those thinking about cashing in on the hot housing market – make sure you have a plan.

RE/MAX Realty Solutions realtor Lidia Ferreira says one of the first questions she asks clients who want to list their property is: “Do you have a plan?”

“Markets are going crazy, country-wide. One of the biggest issues right now is a lack of supply,” she says.

Ferreira says she has two clients in Osoyoos with properties for sale at just over a million dollars. They would like to move to Penticton, but there’s not much available there for them to purchase and put some money in the bank.

“Not much can be found for $800,000 in Penticton. Some people are taking their properties off the market because there is no place to go. I know of a couple in their mid-60s who would like to downsize and take advantage of the high prices, but the question is, where are they going to go?,” she says.

Ferreira says the present market evens itself out. Homeowners are selling high, but they are forced to buy high too, sometimes for a lot more than expected because bidding wars are deciding many property sales.

“I think right now there is panic in the air when it comes to buying. I hope people are really thinking about what they are doing so they don’t sell themselves, literally, homeless,” she says.

In the South Okanagan, Ferreira is seeing big demand for acreages, with no shortage of buyers.

“The market is absolutely increasing in demand for acreages. We have subdivisions on Anarchist Mountain where sales have been quiet for years, with 15 to 20 lots on the market at any given time. Two years ago, the average was 40 lots on the market. Last week, there were 16 listings up there. We’re down to one as of April 6,” Ferreira says.

Ferreira says the properties on the mountain have been amongst the most affordable in the province, something that is now fuelling demand.

“COVID-19 has brought on almost a panic. People feel they need space, they want to be on their own property and they are looking for a rural setting,” she says.

A look around the valley confirms Ferreira’s comments. In Kelowna, a 1,300 square foot single storey house built on two acres of land in 1940 is up for sale for $1.5 million. An offer of $1.2 million for the property has already been turned down.

In Kamloops, records were broken in March with average listings up by more than $100,000 over March of last year, while Vernon has seen bidding wars add as much as $60,000 to the asking price of a home valued at $625,000.

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