Real estate

Single-family homes in Penticton gained an average of 2% in value last year, according to BC Assessments, but the increase was much larger in the actual marketplace.

Assessment notices, which are in the mail this week, show the average single-family home in the city was valued at $479,000 as of July 1, 2020, up from $469,000 a year earlier.

However, the 436 single-family homes that actually traded hands in 2020 sold for an average of $632,000, up 15% from $550,000 in 2019, according to data from the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.

Multi-family units, like townhouses and apartments, climbed an average of 1% to $291,000, according to BC Assessment, while OMREB data shows townhouse prices rose 10% to $419,000 and condos rose 8% to $344,000.

OMREB president Kim Heizmann suggested in an email the sales data paints a more accurate picture of what homes are actually worth right now, although assessments are the final word for taxation purposes.

“Realtors do an assessment based on current market conditions, upgrades, changes to the property, supply and demand and current local sales to determine that market value range and also visit the property,” said Heizmann.

“It is essentially a current snapshot of what is actually happening in the market versus a historical one.”

Besides being out of date, 2020 assessments don’t account for COVID-19’s impact on the market, which was restricted by health orders in the spring before eventually heating up.

“This demand not only continued throughout the summer but got higher from around July. Inventory struggled to keep up to this demand which put upward pressure on pricing, which in turn saw increases in the average prices of homes in the area,” said Heizmann.

Elsewhere in the region, the value of an average single-family home in Oliver jumped 7% to $416,000, while in Osoyoos it rose 1% to $433,000, according to BC Assessments.

Summerland was the only community in the Okanagan to see a decrease, with the average single-family home there sliding 2% to $517,000.

Over in the Similkameen, both Keremeos and Princeton recorded double-digit percentage increases.

In Princeton, the average single-family home rose 17% to $252,000, while Keremeos enjoyed an 11% bump to $304,000.

To the north, the average single-family home in Vernon rose 3% to $479,000 – identical to Penticton – while Kelowna notched a 3% increase to $650,000 and West Kelowna climbed 4% to $632,000.

The most expensive properties in the region are found in Lake Country, where the average single-family home’s assessment spiked 7% to $673,000.