How The Pandemic Changed Luxury Real Estate in Kelowna

A lot has changed in the wake of a global pandemic. Since 2019, the way we shop, communicate, and live our daily lives has drastically changed. We’ve seen booms and busts in different markets, experienced some of the lowest vacancy rates in recent history, and watched housing prices soar. 

During this time of uncertainty, there’s seemingly one thing you can be certain of; the high and growing demand for luxury real estate in the Okanagan and beyond. Here are some insights into why this is the case and how you can find the luxury home of your dreams. 

Working From Home

During the past three years, many of us have traded boardrooms for zoom meetings and offices for bedrooms. Stay at home orders all across the country had people cramming an extra piece of their lives into their already tight living quarters. This was fine for the meantime, but with hybrid offices here to stay, this is no longer a suitable solution. 

With additional time being spent at home, homeowners are looking for bigger, more comfortable spaces where they can enjoy their time. But this doesn’t mean buyers are still hunting for the grand open-concept homes we’ve become accustomed to. In fact, many are saying that the pandemic has made open concept living less desirable than it has been in the past. 

Working from home has opened many other unique opportunities for home buyers. In 2021, 21% of home buyers began looking to more rural communities and away from bigger cities in search of a better return on their investment. Thanks to the nature of virtual offices, many can now afford the luxury of living wherever they choose and making their home an oasis.

Reallocating Budgets

While many have adjusted their work life to accommodate pandemic-related restrictions, it’s been more difficult for some to adapt to our travel limitations. Border closures and tough COVID measures in many countries have left avid travelers at home longer than expected. 

Add to that the fact that during the pandemic our social lives were put on hiatus. People just weren’t spending money on going out and they weren’t utilizing local amenities available to them like they would have in pre-coronavirus days. Everyone was looking for new ways to entertain themselves and their families. This inspired many to reconsider where they live and what they look for in a home. 

Investing in Home Upgrades 

Modern kitchen with blonde wood cabinets, large island and brass hanging light fixture.
During the pandemic, many homeowners added significant value to their homes with kitchen upgrades.

With travel off the table, as well as several other pastimes, people looked for ways they could utilize their travel budgets to make their homes more enjoyable. The lockdowns presented a perfect opportunity to execute home upgrades that may have been put on the back burner. 

Added time at home also inspired homeowners to look for ways they could make their homes more functional, comfortable and entertaining. It wasn’t uncommon for luxury home owners to add an office, gym, theatre room, outdoor pool and hot tub, bar, as well as significantly upgrade kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor spaces and guest suites. 

Moving up in the Luxury Home Market

For some, spending more time at home was just the motivation needed to start looking for another home. That meant possibly reconsidering where they want to live. Many prospective home buyers had the ability to work from home, so they no longer had the need to live in busy urban centers or suburbs. 

Open concept rec room in luxury home with a grey sectional sofa, and winding wrought iron staircase.
The pandemic ushered some homeowners to make the move to larger homes.

With the pandemic ushering the decision, many sought to move into more rural areas. With benefits like increased privacy, larger properties and the ability to secure a larger, possibly newer home for less, it was the right decision for many families.

For others, the motivation to move came from simply wanting an upgraded home with more space. Specifically, spaces they could dedicate to health, work, and entertainment.

The Impact on Kelowna’s Real Estate

Despite the changes the pandemic imposed, the Okanagan is still a desirable place to relocate to. Luxury Kelowna homes have sustained their status as coveted assets, while Kelowna held strong as the fastest growing city in Canada in the past 5 years. With 14% growth from 2016 – 2021, and an expected 9% growth in real estate, it’s no wonder that people are confident in sustained market growth. The going got tough, and Kelowna real estate kept going.

Kelowna’s Real Estate Experts

Navigating Kelowna’s luxury real estate listings can be daunting at times. Let the experts at Domeij & Associates take the guesswork out of buying your next luxury home. Dave and Jason Domeij have over three decades of combined experience in Kelowna’s luxury real estate market. We specialize in finding the right luxury property for you, negotiating on your behalf and making sure buying and selling is a positive experience for you. Contact us today.