Kelowna Real Estate Overview
Real estate prices in Kelowna are falling, which makes it a great time to buy. If you're looking for "location, location, location," the idyllic lakeside vistas of Kelowna are sure to be appealing.
According to the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board, the average price of a residential home sold in the Kelowna area in March 2013 was $416,363, which is down 8.8% from March 2012.
Some popular neighbourhoods include Kelowna North, Glenmore, and Lower Mission. West Kelowna just across the lake is experiencing a great deal of growth and development, and is a popular location for families and retirees.
- Kelowna Population (2011)180,000
- 5 Year Population Change10.8%
- Number of Homes in Kelowna75,000
Why Buy a Home in Kelowna?
Kelowna features some of the most breathtaking views of any city in Canada. Surrounded by mountains, forests, beaches, and lakes, it is truly a natural haven.
The city's location in the heart of the Okanagan Valley gives it a dry, mild climate. Summers are hot and sunny, with daytime temperatures often exceeding 35 degrees Celcius. Snowfall in the winter makes for ideal conditions for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.
Kelowna has a strong economy based on tourism and its internationally recognized vineyards. It is home to a number of stunning and luxurious properties, in addition to more affordable condos, houses, and apartments.
Explore Kelowna's Rich Cultural Heritage
The Okanagan Valley's first peoples were drawn to modern-day Kelowna due to the abundance of fish, wildlife, and berries in the area. Three European missionaries, Father Pandosy, Father Richard, and Brother Surel, arrived in 1859 and set up a Mission. Plans for the town of Kelowna were laid out in 1892 and it was incorporated in 1905.
Father Pandosy had originally named the area "L'Anse au Sable" (Bay of Sand) after the sandy lakeshore. The name Kelowna was adapted from the Okanagan native word for Grizzly Bear.
Fur trading became popular in the area after the Pacific Fur Company established a route there. Over time, the population grew as people were attracted to the city's beautiful natural environment. Today, Kelowna is the largest city in the Okanagan Valley.
Getting around in Kelowna
Two highways pass through Kelowna - the 97 and the 33. The 97 runs across the recently completed William R. Bennett Bridge, connecting Kelowna to West Kelowna. To the west, the highway connects with the Coquihalia Highway and the Trans-Canada Highway, making it about a four hour drive to Vancouver.
Kelowna is serviced by BC transit, and public buses run frequently all across town. The Kelowna Cabs company has been serving the area for 25 years.
For a more scenic tour of the city, forgo the bus or car ride and take a stroll along one of its many beaches, gardens, paths, and trails.
Shopping and Amenities
Kelowna prides itself on having some of the best shopping around. The Orchard Park Shopping Centre is the region's largest mall with over 170 stores. Downtown Kelowna and Uptown Rutland feature a unique variety of independently owned shops.
Golfing is a common pastime in the area, and the city features 20 world-class golf courses. For families, there is no end of playgrounds, parks, water parks, and beaches.
The Okanagan Regional Library operates three branches in Kelowna. Several public and private school options are available, in addition to post-secondary institutions such as the Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia's Okanagan Campus.
Entertainment and Attractions in Kelowna
There are so many things to do in Kelowna, it's nearly impossible to get bored. With biking, hiking, and golfing in the summer - and skiing, snowmobiling, and skating in the winter - the city is constantly buzzing with activity.
If sitting down for a show is more your cup of tea, you should check out the Kelowna Community Theatre or the Rotary Centre for the Arts. When the evening falls, Kelowna has over 30 nightlife options ranging from bars, to lounges, to clubs.
And of course, you haven't experienced Kelowna until you've explored and tasted the fruits of its over 25 wineries. Make sure to check out the BC Wine Museum for a detailed history of vineyards in the region.