As much as I hate to see summer go, its moments like
this that makes winter look not too bad.
With kids back in school and, as much as I don't want to admit it, the weather outside is taking a wintery turn. This week I am looking at the Big White real estate market and how it has faired. I like to look at Big White's market to indicate confidence in the overall real estate market for Kelowna and the area, as it is a vacation rental destination or secondary home market. To me, this helps indicate the overall health and confidence in the market. Big White will be first affected by the increase in interest rates as it is a "want" market and not a "need" market.
The last few years at Big White ski resort has been dealt a few blows with all the restrictions and reduction in travel. According to the website in 2018, 42 percent of the skiers and snowboarders in 2019 were from outside of BC. With a village capacity that can sleep over 16,000 people, that is a lot of overnight guests. Not to mention, the website for Big White in 2019 stated that the hill employees are represented from 27 different countries. The vast diversity on the hill has made it a popular place for young people to go to work and have fun during the winter. I have not been able to find any more recent data, to see how tourism has been impacted in the last couple of years, but will look at the real estate market to see what type of demand is out there for a predominately vacation rental market.
Big White this year right now has 74 active listings, which is at 89% of the 5-year average of 83. Last year during September there were only 45 active listings. Inventory is approaching a more balanced market, interest rates have increased substantially this year and when the increases will stop remains to be seen. Big White hasn't had this amount of active listings since April of 2021.
In September so far there have been 3 sales in Big White, which, in comparison to last year, there were 20 during the entire month of September. With 2022 well within its 4th quarter of the year so far there have been 113 sales, compared to a full year of 251 last year and 213 in 2020. As we are heading into what could be a peak time for buyers to secure their vacation rental before the ski season, the amount there is a chance that sales will reach the 5-year average of 187, but the higher interest rates may deter potential buyers.
The overall total volume of sales in Big White has drastically increased in the last few years but appears to have peaked as a result of the the higher costs of borrowing and inflation impacting peoples' secondary plans. This year so far the average monthly volume has averaged out at $5.7M, which is well below 2021's average of $10.7M, and 2020s of $8.3M. So far in 2022, there has been $69 Million in sales, 2021 there was $129 Million in sales.
With everything happening in the world, the Big White market appears to be driven by locals looking to escape. As borders are pretty well open and Arrive Canada app on its way out, international tourism could return. It is unknown if the majority of purchases are for short-term rentals or for personal use, regardless there has been demand but unsustainable demand.
Have a great week! Let me know if there is anything in the world I can do for you.
Personal Real Estate Corporation
Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty
2021 Top 3% Internationally Coldwell Banker