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Kelowna home prices could be at record highs again by the end of the year

New record-high home prices are on the way for Kelowna and the rest of Canada.

Royal LePage has upgraded its 2024 end-of-year price forecast, predicting a 9% national hike in prices over the same time last year.

At the end of 2023, the median price of a typical single-family home in Kelowna was 1,074,500, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey.

Tack 9% onto that and the price at the end of this year could be a new record-high of $1,171,205.

The previous record-high was in the post-pandemic boom of April 2022 when the benchmark selling price of a typical single-family home was $1,131,800, according to the Association of Interior Realtors.

<who>Photo credit: Royal LePage</who>Royal LePage has upgraded its end of year home price forecast to be 9% more than the end of 2023.

Median and benchmark aren't exactly the same, but they are the closest comparison we can make at this point.

The 9% increase is also an assumption because Royal LePage doesn't include Kelowna specifically in the year-over-year forecast.

But, of the big cities across Canada it does make predictions for, the annual hike is between 5% and 10%, with the national average being 9%.

What the numbers do show is the trend is up, up, up.

<who>Photo credit: Royal LePage</who>Phil Soper is the president and CEO of Royal LePage.

"Consistent with our previous forecast, the market did reach a critical tipping point in the first quarter of 2024, when home prices bottomed out and began to appreciate again," said Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper.

"Clearly, more and more buyers are motivated by the need to get ahead of rising home prices, rather than adopting the strategy of waiting for mortgage rates to fall."

In Kelowna's case that means the median price of a typical single-family home went from $1,074,500 at the end of 2023 to $1,103,900 in the first three months of 2024.

It's that kind of stronger-than-expected price appreciation that prompted Royal LePage to bump up its forecast.

<who>Photo credit: Royal LePage</who>The median price for a typical single-family house in Kelowna could be $1,171,205 by year end.

"Given the strong start to 2024, the cadence of the market for the balance of the year points to a normally busy spring market that will lead into an uncomfortably busy fall," said Soper.

"It is clear we are rapidly transitioning away from a buyers' market and back to an environment where the seller has the upper hand."

Home prices rapidly escalated in 2021 and 2022 in a post-pandemic runup that saw new record highs set all over the place.

COVID prompted many people to reassess their lives, including where they wanted to live, leading to people moving cities and to bigger, better and costlier homes.

It was all made much easier because mortgage interest rates were rock bottom.

Then came high inflation and higher interest rates, which dampened demand and sent prices to tumbling.

However, we've now reached the point where inflation is coming down and mortgage interest rates are predicted to start scaling back this year.

People that the been sitting on the fence about selling or buying a home as a result are now ready to take action, spurring the uptick in real estate activity and prices.

Condominium prices in Kelowna are also on the rise, but likely won't hit a new record-high by the end of the year.

At the end of 2023, the median price of a typical condo in Kelowna was $479,500, according to the Royal Lepage survey.

Add 9% to that and you get $522,665, which falls short of the previous record of $557,700 in April 2022.

Royal LePage's price survey outlined the numbers in 63 communities.

Kelowna is one of Canada's most expensive real estate markets behind Greater Vancouver, where the median price of a typical single-family home was $1,750,000 in the first three months of 2024, Greater Toronto ($1,454,800), Victora ($1,248,400) and Montreal Centre ($1,117,800),

The Canadian median was $845,300.

Some of the cheapest cities in the country are St. John at $279,900, St. John's with $351,000, Quebec City at $391,600, Regina with $411,600, Winnipeg at $431,000 and Edmonton at $485,500.

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