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A Brand-New Behavioral Shift in Real Estate

AJ Hazzi

After becoming a Realtor® in 2002, AJ Hazzi noticed a gap in the market and in 2008 he founded Vantage West Realty, a boutique firm dedicated to serv...

After becoming a Realtor® in 2002, AJ Hazzi noticed a gap in the market and in 2008 he founded Vantage West Realty, a boutique firm dedicated to serv...

Aug 12 4 minutes read

Here’s my theory on why our market has been so hot lately.

Why, exactly, is our real estate market so crazy right now? By now, you’ve likely heard me mention there was some pent-up demand from the lockdown back in April, but that’s largely already come to pass. There’s something bigger fueling our market right, and I believe it’s a full-on behavioral shift. 


If you look back at the last 10 to 15 years, there’s been a trend away from so-called ‘McMansions’—giant homes that require lots of maintenance—toward downsizing and getting rid of unnecessary aspects. There was a sort of urban densification occurring, as people moved to city hot spots where they could walk to their favorite restaurants and stores. 


Suddenly, this entrenched trend has been completely uprooted and reversed by a health crisis that forced us to stay locked up in our houses for months on end. In this new era, the idea of living in a tiny home, microsuite, or even just a regular apartment with shared elevators just doesn’t cut it anymore. 


In my conversations with customers, I’m frequently hearing a need for adequate office space, an additional play area to entertain kids during the workday at home, a home gym, and a garden for veggies so that trips to the store can be minimized. Generally, it seems homebuyers are craving a little more elbow room, and pools have become hot commodities. Once again, a house’s amenities have taken center stage in the discussion of buyer demand. 


"More office space, a bigger play area for the kids, an in-home gym, and a garden are just some of the home features buyers have been seeking lately."


The ‘lock-and-leave’ mentality that used to be prevalent among homeowners, especially those who traveled often, has been replaced by a mentality of fortification. Since everyone has had to hunker down for the long haul and endure a great deal of uncertainty in the world, people want to be sure they’re in a house they absolutely love. 


Big houses are back; activity in the luxury market is up 50% year over year. We’re seeing couples teaming up with their parents to buy a spacious duplex or some other large spread where they can live together. 


For a lot of people, the last several months have been a fairly traumatic experience, so many are doubling down on whatever home features they feel will keep them safe and sane in this tumultuous time. Right now, Kelowna is doubly benefiting from an inward migration of folks from urban centers like Toronto and Vancouver and a behavior change within the local markets. 


If you want to poke around and see what kind of homes are available, you can do so from right here on the blog. If you’re interested in knowing what your current home may sell for in this market, I can assure you that it’s never been worth more than it is in this exact moment, so feel free to start the home pricing evaluation process that can also be found here. I look forward to checking back in a couple of weeks, but until then, just reach out via phone or email if you have any questions. 


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