Penticton taking over from Kelowna as Okanagan real estate hotspot
This is part one of a two part series.
According to those in the know, Penticton is quickly becoming the next major investment hub in the Okanagan.
Western Investor magazine ranks the city at number four on its list of five top towns for real estate investors in 2023, and an article by Vancouver real estate firm Maude, MacKay and Co. calls the region a property “hotspot.”
Both entities point to Penticton’s location, surrounded by lakes and mountains, and growing housing and economic opportunities as just some of the reasons to invest in the South Okanagan community.
“We’ve been seeing, really for the last two years, that Penticton is our favourite market in the valley,” says Shane Styles, president of Epic Real Estate Solutions.
A recent call from a Vancouver client, who vacationed in Penticton as a child and is now looking for property opportunities, confirmed to Styles that the area is on many investors’ radar.
“I tell you I can mix and repeat that story a hundred times. Penticton has all the amenities of a larger centre but with a small town feel. Demand drives interest.”
One of the areas that interests Styles, in particular, is the North Gateway Plan in the northeast corner of the city. Penticton has invested more than $200 million to create the South Okanagan Events Centre Campus which features an aquatic centre, ice rink, convention centre, casino and curling club. There is also the future opportunity for two new NHL-sized rinks next to the convention centre.
On the housing side, the city’s plan is to increase the density that currently exists, around 300 residential units, up to 2,200 new residential units at full build-out.
“Buy where the demand is going to be the greatest in the future,” adds Styles. “Where a city is putting recreation and entertainment amenities, parks, beaches and active transportation corridors.”
He illustrates his point by referencing Kelowna’s investment along the Abbott Street corridor.
“Anybody who purchased in or along Abbott in advance of the city adding new beaches, the largest recreational corridor, they have all benefited from that because it draws people to that area. The North Gateway Plan will be the same experience in Penticton.”
Styles says he also sees better opportunities in Penticton than in Kelowna for a wide range of investors.
“There’s a wider bandwidth of approachable prices to get into the market. You can still get housing in the mid $200,000 to low $300,000 range. Those opportunities don’t exist anymore in Kelowna. If you’ve got $1.2 million and want to buy a house…and subdivide into a couple of lots you can do that in Penticton as well.”
The opportunities in Penticton are drawing many, generally younger people, to the city, according to Styles.
“New people are coming from bigger cities because Penticton has all the assets of a larger urban centre, but they can get their foot in the door.”
He also points out that it’s just a great city to be in.
“It punches above its weight for a small community with entertainment, an events centre, lakes, wineries and brewpubs. There is a whole food, wine and culinary culture in Penticton that I think is unique to the entire valley.”
Styles adds that Penticton does remind him of Kelowna eight to 10 years ago.
“It’s not going to be Kelowna. It’s always going to have its own feel, flair and flavour. It’s a market that’s forecast to be one of the fastest growing in the valley. There are a lot of eyeballs on Penticton.”
BCFSA rules on real estate agent’s $50K loan to client
A real estate agent who lent a client $50,000 so she could afford to make a deposit on a property in Richmond, B.C., committed professional misconduct by doing so, according to a provincial regulator.
The B.C. Financial Services Authority, which investigates real-estate-related complaints from members of the public, has concluded that Wei “Vicky” Wang’s loan constituted a conflict of interest, and that Wang had committed misconduct by failing to avoid the conflict and by failing to advise her client of it.
The BCFSA’s chief hearing officer Andrew Pendray issued his decision on the matter earlier this month. It was published online Wednesday.
In it, Pendray wrote that the evidence before him supported the conclusion that the $50,000 Wang provided was a loan, and thus a conflict, despite Wang’s arguments to the contrary.
Pendray’s decision came after hearings on the BCFSA’s fifth amended notice to Wang about the complaints against her from her former client.
All of the iterations of the notice centred on the client’s purchase of two homes – one in Richmond and one in Vancouver. Both addresses are redacted throughout the decision, as are the names of the client, her husband and other witnesses.
The loan related to the Richmond purchase, for which a contract of purchase and sale was executed on June 9, 2016, with a completion date scheduled for Oct. 4 of that year, according to the decision.
The agreed purchase price was $1,688,000, with a deposit of $90,000 – slightly more than five per cent of the total price.
Pendray’s decision indicates that Wang’s brokerage provided the BCFSA with two “receipt of funds records” relating to the deposit, one for $40,000 from the client’s account and one for $50,000 from Wang’s account.
The record for the $50,000 transaction included the note “loaning to the buyer temporarily,” according to the decision, and both Wang and the client acknowledged that Wang provided $50,000 toward the purchase of the Richmond property.
The real estate agent argued that the $50,000 she provided to her client should not be considered a loan because it wasn’t provided with the expectation of repayment with interest.
“When asked what she would call the $50,000 towards the (Richmond property) deposit, if it were not described as a loan, Ms. Wang indicated that she did not know, though she subsequently suggested that one could consider it to be a gift,” Pendray wrote in his decision.
“Ms. Wang stated that she and the client were friends, and that she had not thought much of providing the $50,000 at the time.”
Despite Wang’s suggestion that the money could be considered a gift, Pendray noted that she made efforts to secure repayment of it.
The money was wired back to Wang on June 29, 2016, after she and her client had exchanged WeChat messages about how and when she would be paid back, according to the decision.
In her defence, the decision indicates, Wang declined to say she had been repaid, insisting that the money had been “returned” in the same way one would return a car after borrowing it.
She also argued that the entire hearing had been unfair to her, submitting three times that it ought to be adjourned because the BCFSA had revised its allegations against her five times.
Pendray rejected all of these arguments, writing that Wang has “long known the nature of the allegations against her” and that there was “no unfairness in proceeding with the hearing.”
He concluded that both Wang and her client understood the $50,000 to be a loan, not a gift, and that Wang expected to be repaid.
“Even if I was to accept Ms. Wang’s submission that in order for the $50,000 to be considered a loan, it is necessary that the loan have been provided in exchange for future repayment plus something more, the facts of this case lead me to the conclusion that there was, in this case, something more,” Pendray wrote.
The chief hearing officer noted that Wang received a commission of $22,538.78 for her role in the transaction. She could not have received that amount, he concluded, if the client had backed out of the purchase for lack of funds.
“In order to receive that commission, the purchase of that property had to complete,” Pendray wrote. “In order for the purchase to ever have had the chance to reach completion, the deposit on the property, as required by the contract of purchase and sale, would have had to have been paid.”
Having concluded that Wang provided the client with a loan, Pendray determined that doing so was a conflict of interest under the provincial Real Estate Services Act, and that Wang had committed misconduct.
He ordered Wang and the BCFSA to make submissions on what sanctions Wang should face for her behaviour, with specific penalties to be determined at a later date.
Luxe $9m South Yarra sanctuary for sale with six-car basement garage
A winning collaboration by some of the best in the business has produced this luxurious modern sanctuary in a prized lifestyle location.
High-end builder Agushi teamed with celebrated Workroom architects and Nathan Burkett Landscape Architects on the private inner-city residence.
The four-bedroom, five-bathroom house at 12 Rockley Rd, South Yarra has hit the market with a $9m-$9.5m asking price.
Largely crafted from concrete – which even features on the sculptural curved staircase that links the home’s three levels – and marble, it delivers sophisticated interiors with carefully framed garden views.
RELATED: Funky Eltham ‘treehouse’ recreates childhood fantasy
Epic Balwyn house has rooftop cinema
Melbourne mansion makes $4m in two years
When at home, a mirrored lift, infinity pool with in-floor cleaning and a six-car basement garage provide the ultimate in convenience.
But it is the state-of-the-art automation that paves the way for a lock-up-and-leave lifestyle.
The technology has been a game-changer for vendor and interior designer Georgie Coombe-Tennant and her husband, Mark.
It has transformed the way they live, doing away with the need for front door keys and allowing them to turn on the oven remotely, let the postie in the gate while sitting on a ski lift or turn on the sprinkler from Europe.
“We had always had old traditional homes and renovated them, and we just felt like it was time for something modern,” Mrs Coombe-Tennant said.
“We saw Bear (Agushi’s) work and my expression for his work is that everything is so resolved.
“He has not left a single detail out of it. If you think of something you would need in a home it’s there.”
She has delighted in decorating the home, which she said offers loads of space despite having a townhouse feel.
“I found the home is so easy decorate and furnish because you have got this beautiful blank canvas and you can put any amount of colour or neutrality into in,” she said.
As well as three living areas and four bedrooms, the two-year-old home has the luxury of two home offices with desks crafted of the same grey Damastas marble that features in the lavish kitchen and bathrooms.
The main open-plan living zone screams entertainer thanks to a series of full height sliding doors linking it to a covered outdoor dining space with a built-in barbecue, a conversation pit and north-facing sun deck.
A second ground floor lounge room provides another breakout space, perfect for curling up beside the fire.
Despite its proximity to Chapel St and Toorak Village, Mrs Coombe-Tennant said the home felt secluded.
“I guess with South Yarra people are always worried about noise and things like that but it’s very, very quiet, it’s really secretive. No one knows it’s here,” she said.
“Once we are in that front door you don’t hear a single sound, but you have got everything on your doorstep.”
RT Edgar Toorak director Sarah Case added that it was rare to find homes of this calibre created specifically for a lock-up-and-leave lifestyle.
“This home has every luxury we’ve come to expect from Agushi, who’s renowned solid concrete construction, superior quality, generous spaces and meticulous attention to detail, while providing for a modern way of living with a lift to all levels, stunning pool and six-car garage,” Ms Case said.
“From the magnificent marble kitchen to the beautiful bedrooms and the poolside outdoor spaces, every aspect has been thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of even the most discerning buyer.”
Mr Agushi said he prided himself on building homes with “over specced” insulation, glazing, solar panels and smart home integration.
Expressions of interest close on June 15 at 5pm.
According the latest Proptrack Home Price Index, national home prices continued to stabilise in April after rising for the fourth consecutive month, rising 0.14 per cent.
LACKIE: Busy Spring in Toronto Real Estate
This has been a busy, bustling spring for the Toronto real estate market.
There are people who will say it’s all an illusion. A perfectly coordinated dance between snake oil selling realtors and their greedy clients, all unified in pumping a market currently back on its heels as means of personal enrichment.
How does that saying go — never let the truth get in the way of a good story?
They will say it makes no sense that the market should have any signs of life at all given the rollercoaster of the last 18 months (slash, the three years since COVID, if we’re being honest) and that with rates high and staying there, and prices still high and mostly staying there, we are looking at the furthest thing from a healthy marketplace.
And perhaps it’s all relative — things feel particularly energized because in comparison to last fall, we are actually seeing some action out there.
Houses in dodgy pockets fetching upwards of 20 offers, buyers seemingly undeterred by the needles on the street just steps away from the front door.
Cute houses in great pockets drawing multiple offers and landing peak-of-2022 prices.
Sellers who may have wondered if the time-was-now realizing they didn’t want to miss their moment.
There are many utterly baffled that the market has held. That prices have held. That the pain of 2022 didn’t reset the playing field.
They are adamant that any attempt to explain it by pointing to how grossly insufficient our inventory levels are is really just distortion and manipulation. The idea somehow being that people can be scammed into engaging and thus what we are really looking at is a mirage.
They think our problems will be solved if buyers simply stay home. Refuse to show up to houses that are underlisted. Refuse to engage in multiple offers. Refuse to pay a dollar more than list price. Refuse to pay realtor fees. Refuse to participate.
Legislate agents into listing at market value. Legally obligate sellers to accept any offer that meets the price they chose to list at. Cap realtor fees. The list goes on.
Absent from all of this is the reality very much apparent on the ground: for all of the noise and anger, Toronto has not enough houses and more than enough willing participants who are capable of driving a marketplace.
By this time next week, we will have stats to support that the spring market is very much here and with it I expect we will note a sharp increase in transactions and a notable bump to average sale prices.
Is it a seasonal blip that will fizzle out as temperatures rise? Entirely possible. But even just a return to some seasonal rhythms in our marketplace would be a welcome return to normalcy.
The Art Collection of David Bowie: An Introduction – Open Culture
Masha Titova's “The Music of Art” – The New Yorker
OSS art students create 'exciting' new mural for school atrium – OrilliaMatters
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
News22 hours ago
Evacuation orders mount as fire rages in Upper Tantallon, Hammonds Plains area
News23 hours ago
Man dead after Scarborough collision involving vehicle and motorcycle
Sports23 hours ago
IIHF Hockey: Canada downs Germany 5-2
Business20 hours ago
Ford’s Deal To Use Tesla Charging Connector And Superchargers Could Kill CCS
Tech23 hours ago
JetBrains Compose Multiplatform for iOS Reaches Alpha
Business22 hours ago
Canada’s bank earnings, job vacancies and Michael Sabia’s new job: Must-read business and investing stories
Media22 hours ago
Causal association found between evening social media use and delayed sleep
Economy22 hours ago
Theo Argitis and Robert Asselin: Trudeau can’t keep juicing the economy with more spending