Penticton a blue chip for real estate

The City of Penticton has made it onto another
The City of Penticton has made it onto another 'top' list, this time a list of blue chip areas to invest in real estate
— image credit: Submitted photo

Though census figures show population growth lagging behind other centres in the Okanagan and Similkameen, other factors have earned Penticton a spot on Canadian Real Estate Wealth magazine’s list of blue chip picks for real estate investment.

According to the magazine, Penticton’s many amenities and a six-month home price index growth of 4.7 per cent should be making new homeowners and real estate investors take a look at buying now. The editors also noted the $312 million expansion to the Penticton Regional Hospital should lead to job opportunities that will attract highly skilled residents.

More: Greyback lands major Penticton Regional Hospital contract

“Penticton is one of those places where people want to live, with so many great amenities,” said Anthony Haddad, director of development services. “With land that has become available for development and significant infill redevelopment, we’ve seen a lot of growth in residential housing over this past year and we’re very pleased to be spotlighted as a prime spot in Canada for home ownership and investment.”

The availability of work is always a consideration for potential new home buyers. However, just last fall, economic development staff headed to a Vancouver job fair with a list of nearly 100 vacant positions in skilled trades, engineering, healthcare, administration, finance, transportation, manufacturing and hospitality.

Developers are reporting sellouts of units prior to final construction and Skaha Hills, a $250 million master-planned community on land owned by the Penticton Indian Band on the south slopes of the city, reported a $12-million sellout of their phase 3 in one day last summer.

More: Skaha Hills exceeding expectations

In 2016, the number of new residential units in the city jumped to 387 up from 144 in 2015. Those new units were valued at $66.7 million, an increase of 150 per cent from the 2015 building permit value of $26.4 million.

“Our efforts in recent years to reduce barriers for development and plan for sustainable growth has enabled the city to support new development at record levels in our community,“ said Haddad. “We’re very busy at the building department, and with the vacancy rate under one per cent, we’re expecting to see a similar pace in new building permits this year.”

The medium house price in Penticton is $469,900.

More: Okanagan-wide building and real estate boom in 2016

For the last decade, Canadian Real Estate Wealth magazine has released an annual property forecast with a province-by-province analysis of the best real estate markets to invest.

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