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View from Jake and Rachel Russell's back deck, in Vernon B.C.

Vernon Real Estate Market Trends: What’s Happening Now:

There are plenty of reasons why people continue moving to or staying in Vernon, BC. The sun. The lakes. The mountains. The trails. The wine. The golf. The just enough amenities and not too much traffic. Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on whether you’re the seller or the buyer—this zest for the North Okanagan has created a challenge in the Vernon real estate market: There aren’t enough homes for sale

Stock photo of apples

In fact, it’s quite common for homes for sale in Vernon under the 500K mark to receive multiple offers—sometimes even offers above asking. It’s a great time to be a seller, unless you’re also buying a house in Vernon after yours goes off the market. And, in fact, right now, that’s true: Most of the buyers in Vernon are from here.

So, what’s driving this trend, and what do you need to know if you’re looking at buying or selling homes in the North Okanagan?


Vernon Real Estate: 2003-2017

View of Kalamalka Lake from Kalamalka Provincial Park hiking trails in Vernon, B.C.

Like so many communities in Canada, heading into 2008, properties in the North Okanagan were selling at an all-time high. We were still riding a peak that began for the Okanagan Valley in 2003 when Canada witnessed, amidst horrific fires, the stunning beauty of this area.

People began moving from across the Prairies to retire or buy their future retirement home, preferably on the water or with a view of Okanagan Lake. Condos shot up. Golf courses opened. There was such a buzz, such optimism, it seemed it would last forever.

And then there was a recession.

For a few years, prices sunk. Homes stayed on the market a little longer, or a lot longer if it was one of those Vernon lakefront homes. It became a buyer’s market, and it more or less stayed that way through 2010, 2012, 2014…

Of course, given this community’s rare beauty and its access to endless outdoor activities, people would always want to live here and there were still plenty of Albertans eyeing our fairer winters and our views, so it wasn’t all bad news, and it didn’t take long for things to pick back up.What began changing the game again was the market in Vancouver.

With home prices there skyrocketing in short periods to levels hard to comprehend, a lot of families decided to get more home and more lifestyle for their money in the Okanagan. Even the recent oil crash had little effect on Vernon real estate.

Today, the Vernon real estate market’s biggest problem is not needing buyers, it’s needing houses.

“Our market continues to be hampered by a lack of properties for sale,” says Tanis Read, president of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board and active Central Okanagan REALTOR®. The statement was issued along with OMREB’s March 2017 statistics, which reported the number of available homes for sale in Vernon and OMREB communities (which spans Revelstoke to Penticton) is 37 per cent lower than this time last year.  “This means we will likely not have the volume of inventory needed to support the typically busy spring months,” says Read.

If there aren’t enough Okanagan homes available, the ones that are listed tend to go fast. Again, multiple offers, above asking offers. High stakes scenarios where you don’t want be making decisions irrationally. That’s why it’s critical, for your happiness and your pocketbook, to get expert guidance from a professional real estate agent who understand the city and the market.

From finding out about new listings sooner to getting accurate information, you’ll be glad to have a trusted REALTOR® on your side.

When you want honest, expert advice you can trust and the chance to find out sooner about new listings, reach out to Vernon real estate agent Jake Russell.

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