In terms of sales in the first quarter — the latest period for which sales numbers are available — Re/Max says buyers recognized opportunities exist and are making their move before prices climb any higher, mortgage rates increase again and B.C.’s harmonized sales tax comes into effect July 1.
“Others, however, are sitting on the sidelines, holding off with the belief that properties could see additional reductions,” says the Re/Max report.
Those looking to sell at what the marketplace considers an “unrealistic” price are playing a risky game, it says, because buyers are more than willing to look somewhere else. But for the most part, sellers are reasonable with their asking price because most of them — who bought three or four years ago — are still going to make a tidy profit, says the report.
“High-end purchasers making cash offers have been incredibly active due to the potential savings in this segment,” it says.
The average price of detached properties is now hovering at $2 million, up from $1.45 million in 2009.
Re/Max says some properties sold at the starting price of $1.2 million are being completely levelled, with the resulting new construction bringing the value closer to $2.5 million upon completion and changing the landscape.
Buyers looking for greater value can seek out cottages on smaller Columbia Lake, with prices starting from $900,000.
View and back-lot properties are not experiencing much demand this year, given the amount of inventory and softer prices on the lake.
The most affordable option is park model lots at Lynx Ridge, with full ownership from $200,000.
Many of these lots have beautiful views of the area’s wetlands — and the most sought-after are cottages within close proximity to amenities and boat launches.
Lake Windemere has a handful of public launch sites. As a result, homes with access to the lake’s private marinas are most coveted.
Even without a lake view, it is not unreasonable to estimate that marina access would add upwards of $100,000 to a list price.
While more high-end homes are moving, traditional purchasers are seeking out a simple place to get away and will consider more basic cabins, as long as they are well-kept and well-located.
The most expensive property in the area sold in the first quarter for $1.4 million, while the most expensive listing is currently offered at $2.1 million. “With recovery still underway in the Lake Windemere area, recreational property buyers will remain in the driver’s seat in 2010,” says Re/Max.
The kitchen of one of the suites at Copper Point Resort in Invermere, B.C. which is now under the ownership of Rohit Communities.