Kelowna’s property market surge highlights its allure, spotlighting intensifying housing demand

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Amid its burgeoning reputation as a city with an incredible quality of life—backed by an astounding 90% of residents endorsing their satisfaction—Kelowna is on the cusp of a significant real estate explosion, thanks to the impending expansion of UBC’s campus in downtown Okanagan.

Leveraging findings from a report from Real Estate Investment Network, called University Effect, the campus expansion represents far more than academic growth. Globally, universities have demonstrated their ability to significantly bolster local economies, enhance property values and foster innovation hubs. With every kilometre closer to a university translating to a 1% increase in average house prices, and the potential for high-tech job growth in communities with strong academic institutions, this expansion is set to unlock a wealth of opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and residents alike.

Photo: Contributed

Population growth and property appreciation fuel economic transformation

As Kelowna prepares for an anticipated student population spike to 20,000 by 2040 from its current thriving cohort nearing 12,000, the city is set to witness a ripple effect on its economic landscape. UBC Okanagan’s expansion, crowned with architectural highlights, like a grand atrium, and cutting–edge facilities, including simulated hospital wards and a public art gallery, will serve as a magnet, escalating the already-high demand for housing, particularly in downtown Kelowna.

The city’s property market trajectory over the past decade already reveals a potent allure: a 54.1% rise in renter households from 2011 to 2021 (more than double the national average of 21.5% and a 13.5% population surge from 2016 to 2021, making it one of the fastest-growing census metropolitan areas in Canada. But it’s not just about population growth; it’s also about property value. Reflecting the broader “university effect” observed in other Canadian metropolises, homes closer to campuses often witness

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