In the two years since they started selling, the Skaha Hills residential development has reported some substantial sales figures, but they may have set a new bar by selling all the homes in their latest offering in record time.
The Vistas, a series of terraced rancher-style homes, drew in $12 million in one day, selling all 24 of the available villas on the first day of the Phase III launch.
Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathon Kruger said when the development was being planned, their research showed the average rate of new home sales was 10 to 12 houses per year.
“When we started this journey, we were thinking that was what the market was going to sell so we were prepared for the long haul,” said Kruger. “We have a really good team … with our partners (Greyback Construction), our PIB Development Corporation and Curt Jansen, our sales manager, all doing an amazing job.”
It’s a success story that is also drawing praise from Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.
“We are thrilled about the success of Skaha Hills, as this is a great example of how a partnership between local developers, businesses and the Penticton Indian Band can work together to help strengthen our community’s economic development,” said Jakubeit.
The Vistas feature terraced rancher villas built in the hillside vineyards with panoramic views of the Okanagan. Skaha Hills describes the homes as combining the best traits of a condo, a town home and a rancher style home into one concept.
“An opportunity to have unobstructed views of Skaha Lake, on the hill for less than $500,000 is rare, and we thought people would like this design. The terraced ranchers are unique and highlight what buyers are looking for,” said Jansen, vice-president of sales and marketing, in a release.
“The demand was there and the success of this innovative home design has exceeded our expectations.”
Kruger said the homes, in two buildings of 12 units each, were placed to get the best views possible. That was a challenge he said, and the planning team thought about putting condos in before deciding on the terraced homes.
“It was kind of an innovative idea. Our partners were a little bit nervous about doing that,” said Kruger, who thought it was a good plan.
“We all came to the conclusion and said let’s try this, let’s put two out there for right now. They sold really fast. That’s a good sign. Phase 1 and Phase 2 are pretty much sold out.”
Kruger said the PIB and everyone involved is pleased with how customers are responding to the designs and the green technology the homes are being built with, earning them an energy efficiency rating of 88 — homes built according to standard building codes range from 65 to 72.
“If we continue this, we will be one of the most environmentally sustainable developments in all of Canada,” said Kruger. “We want that. We want to set that bar high. We want to keep it going and we want to stand behind our products.”
The Vistas is just the latest offering in a full-scale planned community with numerous amenities planned, including walking trails, golf, pools and fitness facilities along with the PLAY Winery & Bistro, which began operations earlier this summer.
Skaha Hills is creating employment opportunities on site and spinoffs for other local businesses, something Kruger said the band is also proud of.
“It is good to see a whole bunch of our band members up there working plus everybody else working,” he said.
“We’re dedicated to growing the economy and providing jobs in the South Okanagan.”
According to the Okanagan Real Estate Board residential sales in the Okanagan continue to boom, with sales of 1,263 units posted to the Multiple Listing Service in June, up 38 per cent from June 2015.
Though the first offering is sold out, more of the terraced rancher style homes are expected to be released within the year.
For more information, including renderings, floor plans and video fly over, visitwww.skahahills.com.