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What $500,000 will get you in the Okanagan's real estate market – Vancouver Sun



Inventory is low, but due to rising interest rates, so is the number of prospective buyers.

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Like the rest of the province, the Interior real estate market is undergoing adjustments. Inventory is low, but due to rising interest rates, so is the number of prospective buyers.

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“The condo market in the Interior is following trends, especially in the greater Kelowna or what we would call central Okanagan area,” said Lyndi Cruickshank, president of the Association of Interior Realtors.

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“We’ve certainly seen a decline, not only in prices, but number of units sold. The two typically go hand-in-hand. The other indicator is how long something takes to sell.”

The Kootenays housing market is in slightly better shape. “It’s an area where we’ve seen some continued strength beyond the softening of some of our other markets, particularly in the Interior. Over the last few years, it’s seen some popularity growth as far as lifestyle. And cost of living there is significantly lower than some of our other markets, like the central Okanagan.”

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In the coming years, the Okanagan market will see a boost in inventory.

“With the popularity of the area, there’s been a lot of development, which is great,” Cruickshank said. “There’s a lot of development going on in the downtown core of Kelowna, and there’s the anticipation of more new housing. More inventory is desperately needed throughout the entire province.”

But the supply chains for new housing “are still pretty tight,” she said. “The access to inventory to do the builds is different than it was five years ago. And the costs to do those builds are significantly different. We need builders and developers to see the opportunities for themselves as well as the communities that they serve.”

At the moment, here are some examples of what’s on the market in the Interior.

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There aren’t many, but a two-bedroom, one-thousand-plus-square-foot condo can still be found for under $500,000. You’re not likely to find anything lakeside for that amount, but many of the complexes have a pool and mountain and/or valley views.

View from the balcony at unit 2413, 3178 Via Centrale St., in Kelowna.
View from the balcony at unit 2413, 3178 Via Centrale St., in Kelowna. Photo by Peter Wingfield – Photography /PNG

 #2413 3178 Via Centrale St.


Two bedrooms and a den large enough for a third make this 1,170-square-foot home one of the more spacious units currently on the Kelowna market for under $500,000. It’s a top-floor unit with vaulted ceilings and a fireplace. Amenities include a shared pool and hot tub, and the building is next to two golf courses and not far from UBC Okanagan and the airport.

#104 1966 Enterprise Way


This upgraded one-bed, two-bath, 829-square-foot unit features include an open-concept living room with fireplace, hardwood flooring, large windows, and a fully covered patio surrounded with greenery overlooking a ravine. The kitchen features stainless steel appliances, white soft-close cabinetry, quartz countertops and backsplash, and an island. The Meadowbrook complex’s perks are an outdoor heated pool, clubhouse, rentable guest suite, and secured underground parking with a carwash station and a storage unit.

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Less than an hour from Kelowna, the same amount of capital will purchase a standalone townhouse, duplex, or even a detached house. As with Kelowna, there wasn’t much in our selected price range, but some properties stood out.

28-8800 Adventure Bay Rd.


Unit 28, 8800 Adventure Bay Rd., in Vernon.
Unit 28, 8800 Adventure Bay Rd., in Vernon. Photo by Supplied /PNG

On the shores of Okanagan Lake, this fully renovated 788-square-foot two-bedroom townhouse offers sweeping views and is steps from its own private lakeshore beach. A mostly-covered 280-square-foot deck sweetens the deal. Other features include a boat buoy, storage room and wall-mounted locker. The Adventure Bay townhouse is situated 15 minutes away from downtown Vernon and 45 minutes from Silver Star Resort.

3702-15 Ave.


Recently renovated, this centrally located three-bedroom, two-bathroom duplex sports new coats of paint throughout. Quartz countertops in the kitchen and granite countertops in the two bathrooms, along with new cabinets and fixtures, are among the updates. A new roof and asphalt driveway have been installed as well. The second floor holds three bedrooms, including a large master with an ensuite and an office converted to a fourth bedroom with access to a large deck. The home is located in Mission Hill and is close to schools, parks, and transit.

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We found even less here in our price range than in Vernon or Kelowna—a couple of townhouses, a handful of condos, and one house.

#303-3589 Skaha Lake Road


3589 Skaha Lake Rd., in Penticton.
3589 Skaha Lake Rd., in Penticton. Photo by Thomas Born /PNG

This two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,058-square-foot condo is in the south end of Penticton, across the street from Skaha Lake, with access to the beach and parks. Features include an open floor plan, large windows, a large covered balcony off the living room with gas barbecue hookups, and heated floors. The primary bedroom has a walk-in closet and ensuite with a soaker tub.

417 Caribou St.


It’s in need of some TLC, according to the listing, but hey, it’s a detached house for under $500,000 in the Okanagan. Too, “the walk-score is through the roof” since it’s “just minutes” to the lake, downtown, schools, shopping, the South Okanagan Events Centre and a casino. The three-bed, two-bath, 1,243-square-foot home also has a covered rear deck.

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Former B.C. Realtor has licence cancelled, $130K in penalties for role in mortgage fraud



The provincial regulator responsible for policing B.C.’s real estate industry has ordered a former Realtor to pay $130,000 and cancelled her licence after determining that she committed a variety of professional misconduct.

Rashin Rohani surrendered her licence in December 2023, but the BC Financial Services Authority’s chief hearing officer Andrew Pendray determined that it should nevertheless be cancelled as a signal to other licensees that “repetitive participation in deceptive schemes” will result in “significant” punishment.

He also ordered her to pay a $40,000 administrative penalty and $90,000 in enforcement expenses. Pendray explained his rationale for the penalties in a sanctions decision issued on May 17. The decision was published on the BCFSA website Wednesday.

Rohani’s misconduct occurred over a period of several years, and came in two distinct flavours, according to the decision.

Pendray found she had submitted mortgage applications for five different properties that she either owned or was purchasing, providing falsified income information on each one.

Each of these applications was submitted using a person referred to in the decision as “Individual 1” as a mortgage broker. Individual 1 was not a registered mortgage broker and – by the later applications – Rohani either knew or ought to have known this was the case, according to the decision.

All of that constituted “conduct unbecoming” under B.C.’s Real Estate Services Act, Pendray concluded.

Separately, Rohani also referred six clients to Individual 1 when she knew or ought to have known he wasn’t a registered mortgage broker, and she received or anticipated receiving a referral fee from Individual 1 for doing so, according to the decision. Rohani did not disclose this financial interest in the referrals to her clients.

Pendray found all of that to constitute professional misconduct under the act.

‘Deceptive’ scheme

The penalties the chief hearing officer chose to impose for this behaviour were less severe than those sought by the BCFSA in the case, but more significant than those Rohani argued she should face.

Rohani submitted that the appropriate penalty for her conduct would be a six-month licence suspension or a $15,000 discipline penalty, plus $20,000 in enforcement expenses.

For its part, the BCFSA asked Pendray to cancel Rohani’s licence and impose a $100,000 discipline penalty plus more than $116,000 in enforcement expenses.

Pendray’s ultimate decision to cancel the licence and impose penalties and expenses totalling $130,000 reflected his assessment of the severity of Rohani’s misconduct.

Unlike other cases referenced by the parties in their submissions, Rohani’s misconduct was not limited to a single transaction involving falsified documents or a series of such transactions during a brief period of time, according to the decision.

“Rather, in this case Ms. Rohani repetitively, over the course of a number of years, elected to personally participate in a deceptive mortgage application scheme for her own benefit, and subsequently, arranged for her clients to participate in the same deceptive mortgage application scheme,” the decision reads.

Pendray further noted that, although Rohani had been licensed for “a significant period of time,” she had only completed a small handful of transactions, according to records from her brokerage.

There were just six transactions on which her brokerage recorded earnings for her between December 2015 and February 2020, according to the decision. Of those six, four were transactions that were found to have involved misconduct or conduct unbecoming.

“In sum, Ms. Rohani’s minimal participation in the real estate industry as a licensee has, for the majority of that minimal participation, involved her engaging in conduct unbecoming involving deceptive practices and professional misconduct,” the decision reads.

According to the decision, Rohani must pay the $40,000 discipline penalty within 90 days of the date it was issued.



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Should you wait to buy or sell your home?



The Bank of Canada is expected to announce its key interest rate decision in less than two weeks. Last month, the bank lowered its key interest rate to 4.7 per cent, marking its first rate cut since March 2020.

CTV Morning Live asked Jason Pilon, broker of Record Pilon Group, whether now is the right time to buy or sell your home.

When it comes to the next interest rate announcement, Pilon says the bank might either lower it further, or just keep it as is.

“The best case scenario we’re seeing is obviously a quarter point. I think more just because of the job numbers that just came out, I think more people are just leading on the fact that they probably just gonna do it in September,” he said. “Either way, what we saw in June, didn’t make a big difference.”

Here are the pros of buying/ selling now:

Pilon suggests locking in the rate right now, if you don’t want to take a risk with interest rates going up in the future.

He says the environment is more predictable right now, noting that the home values are transparent, which is one of the benefits for home sellers.

“Do you want to risk looking at what that looks like down the road? Or do you want to have the comfort in knowing what your house is worth right now?” Pilon said.

And when it comes to buyers, he notes, the competition is not so fierce right now, noting that there are options to choose from.

“You’re in the driver seat right now,” he said while noting the benefits for buyers.

Here are the cons of buying/ selling now:

He says one of the cons would be locking in the rate right now, then seeing a rate cut in the future.

The competition could potentially become fierce, if the bank decides to cut the rate further more, he explained.

He notes that if that happens, the housing crisis will become even worse, as Canada is still dealing with low housing inventory.

An increase in competition would increase the prices of houses, he adds.

Selling or buying too quickly isn’t the best practice, he notes, suggesting that you should take your time and put some thought into it.

Despite all the pros and cons, Pilon says, real estate remains a good investment.

According to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey for the second quarter of this year, the average home price in Canada is $824,300. That’s up 1.9 per cent from the same time last year, and up 1.5 per cent from the first quarter of 2024.

In the Ottawa Housing Market Report for June 2024, the average price of a home was up 2.4 per cent from this time last year to $686,535, but down 0.6 per cent from May 2024.

Experts believe many potential buyers are still hesitant of jumping into the housing market and waiting for another interest rate cut of 50 to 100 basis points.

“I don’t think it’s going to be the rush that we see in the past, because people are used to more of a conservative approach right now,” said Curtis Fillier, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “I think there’s still a bit of a hold back, but I definitely do think with another rate cut, we’ll probably see a very positive fall market.”

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Kimberly Fowler



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Real estate stocks soar to best day of year on rate cut bets



(Bloomberg) — The stock market’s worst group notched its best day of the year as a cooler-than-expected inflation report stoked bets that the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates in September.

Shares of real estate companies jumped 2.7% Thursday for their biggest gain of 2024, climbing to their highest level since March as investors snapped up homebuilder, digital and commercial real estate stocks alike. Real estate also was the best-performing group in the S&P 500 Index Thursday, with volume that was around 30% higher than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Arguably the most significant news to come from the latest consumer price index reading was a pullback in housing-related inflation. Shelter costs rose just 0.2% for the slowest monthly increase in three years. Homebuilders, which have risen 7.1% this year, were up 7.3% for the session, the most since 2022. Shares of D.R. Horton Inc., which is scheduled to report earnings next Thursday, gained 7.3%.

“Housing has really been the last shoe to drop in terms of winning the battle against high inflation,” Preston Caldwell, chief U.S. economist at Morningstar wrote in a note to clients Thursday. “Leading-edge data has strongly indicated for some time now that a fall in housing inflation was in the works.”

A rally in real estate stocks is bad news for short sellers who have been piling into the group, which is the worst performer in the S&P 500 this year. To start the week, short interest as a percentage of float hovered near 49% in the SPDR Homebuilders ETF, the highest level since February for the exchange-traded fund, according to data from S3 Partners.

Property owners are rallying as well. Real estate investment trusts, which were brutally penalized during the two-year run up in borrowing costs, advanced by as much as 3%. And the outlook for the group appears to have turned a corner, according Rich Hill, senior vice president and head of real estate strategy and research at Cohen & Steers Capital Management.

“We think this is a compelling backdrop for listed REITs especially as fundamental growth remains on solid footing,” he said, referencing the latest inflation data and rate outlook. “The rally that started in October of 2023 pushing returns more than 20% above their trough looks set to continue if inflation cools and interest rates continue to decline.”

Shares of industrial REIT Prologis Inc., which reports second-quarter results on Wednesday, rose 3.3% to hit their highest level since April. U.S. Treasury yields tumbled, with the 10-year bond falling to 4.2% and the policy-sensitive two-year note slipping to 4.5%.

(Updates indexes and stock prices for market close.)



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