A mini real estate boom is happening in the South Cariboo.
Real estate agents at both RE/MAX and Royal LePage 100 Mile Realty say sales have doubled or tripled over last summer, particularly among recreation properties across the region. Lots that previously listed year after year in Deka Lake, for instance, are selling like hotcakes, realtors say, while similar sales are being seen in Green Lake and the Interlakes. Residential housing in 100 Mile House is also selling fast.
Royal LePage has 115 deals in the hopper, while RE/MAX said it has closed on 124 deals – up from 38 this time last year. Buyers are typically from the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan who want recreation around the Interlakes or Green Lake areas, but locals are also joining the market.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Ron Kelly, office manager at Royal LePage. “Last year was an excellent year, but the industry is seeing twice as much in dollars and volume as it did last year. The COVID certainly isn’t keeping people at home.”
Stacey Mostrenko, who grew up at Watch Lake and now lives in Maple Ridge, hopes she doesn’t miss the boat on buying lakeside property. She and her husband, both in their 30s, are searching for a recreation property-future retirement home when they are ready to shut up shop at their automotive business. The couple and their family had a look around Green Lake this summer and plan to check out Sheridan Lake and other locales when they return later this month.
It’s not looking hopeful, she said. “We’re looking anywhere. My heart is attached to Green Lake but I have to say, it’s pretty pricey,” said Mostrenko. “We found lots of properties were listed year after year. Now I’ve heard because of COVID, things are starting to sell pretty quickly.”
RE/MAX owner and realtor David Jurek agreed, saying even off-grid cabins and other lots are seeing a revival, especially among people who can work from home. He said the increase in sales is partly because of the pent-up demand from the spring market due to the COVID lockdown, as well as a desire among home buyers looking for a second place “to call home should more lockdowns come down the pipe.”
He noted RE/MAX’s listing inventory has remained low this year with about 100 fewer listings coming on the market this year compared with last year, and this has resulted in more full-price offers and multiple offers in the last two months. However, in general, prices have not seen a spike and overpriced properties are still seeing little to no action.
“Now is a great time to sell if you have been thinking about it and if priced correctly, chances are you will get what you are asking,” Jurek said. “There’s definitely a lot of people buying a second home, the recreational stuff has gone crazy.”
Mostrenko can see why. “You can go up there and everything slows right down and you can breathe,” she said. “Honestly it’s that whole sense of community, the different activities. You can boat, you can swim, you can snowboard. It’s the whole package.”