Is There a Housing Affordability Crisis in Kelowna, BC?

What you need to know about the proposed changes to Kelowna Single Family Zoning, as well, I address the elephant in the room…the Housing Affordability Crisis here in Kelowna.

Having lived in Calgary for 18 years and in real estate for 14 of those 18, I saw a lot of shifts taking place in the housing market.

Probably the biggest shift, fundamentally, was embracing this idea of growing up and not out.

The idea was to try and control urban sprawl by adjusting bylaws to allow for carriage homes, secondary suites and infills being built on larger lots.

It is looking like Kelowna is going to embrace this ideology as well.

But mostly for different reasons.

It is in part to control urban sprawl, I mean realistically, our geography already kind of controls that.

It’s not like there’s endless prairie to build in, mountains and lakes kind of restrict the option for sprawl.

So city planners are looking for different ways to increase density and affordable housing opportunities.

Changes to Kelowna Zoning Bylaws

Back in September of 2022 the city of Kelowna made some changes to the zoning bylaw, which included 6 main points.

They are: 

  1. Consolidate zones

  2. Consolidate land-use categories

  3. Update building height regulations

  4. Allow Towers and mid-rise buildings in Capri-Landmark Centre

  5. Simplify the density bonusing policy

  6. Provide a more streamlined, modernized, and user-friendly policy

As you can see from this infographic, the city has made some fairly significant changes to how different zones in the city are classified.

One of the changes here will have a direct effect on residents living in Rutland, Glenmore and the central part of the city, so think Kelowna North and Kelowna South.

This quote is straight from the infographic and it reads with respect to density:

“Sensitive infill in residential areas and greater densification within Urban Centres and along transit corridors are being expanded in the new bylaw”

Also, according to the city’s housing policy manager, James Moore:

“This kind of initiative is going to mean that we see more construction around us, we're going to be seeing carriage houses coming up, second houses coming up. And the plan is to open up the regulations so that these changes can happen without the risk, delay and expense for property owners to go through the rezoning process.”

Ok, so here’s how I read this.

There will be more secondary suites.

There will be more carriage houses.

There will be infills which will include duplexes and potentially fourplexes and maybe even sixplexes.

There may even be secondary homes on the same lot as the primary home.

This will all lead to greater density, putting further stress on infrastructure that is already stressed to the max.

What Does the City of Kelowna Need to do to Curb Infrastructure Issues?

I don’t have any problem with increasing density, but the city of Kelowna has to move away from the last 8 years of insufficient planning and plan the infrastructure first before increasing density.

Otherwise all you are going to do is piss off existing residents even more than they already will be with the increasing density in their neighbourhoods.

The traffic here can already get pretty bad especially in the summertime, the city needs to address these issues prior to building more homes.

And sorry, more bike lanes just aren't going to cut it.

If you live in these areas where they are going to be testing these new zoning bylaws out, Glenmore, Rutland and Kelowna’s core, know that you are going to see an increase in traffic and likely less street parking.

If you are looking for your first home, if you are looking to relocate to Kelowna or are looking to downsize, one of these new style home might be an affordable option.

At least, that is what the city is shooting for here, to make owning a home here in Kelowna attainable.

Tough to do when you don’t have a lot of land to build new homes on thereby increasing housing starts and supply.

That’s all I have for you. 

If you live in West Kelowna, Kelowna, Lake Country or Peachland and are thinking of making a move, then we should talk.

Give me a call at 778-716-7527 or shoot me an email to


City of Kelowna Cracks the Top 100 Travel Destinations in the World

How in the world did Kelowna crack the top 100 most loved travel destinations in the world?

Simple. Because Kelowna is Awesome.

Recently the Tourism Sentiment Index released their list of the top 100 travel destinations in the world.

There were 4 Canadian cities that made the cut. The top Canadian destination was Fernie. Kelowna came a close second and the list was rounded out by Niagara Falls and Canmore, Alberta.

The TSI explains how the scores are generated this way:

Quote: To calculate the score, we collect all the conversations and content around a destination and, through natural language processing, filter to those that are driven by a destination’s tourism experiences or products. The remaining data is classified as positive, neutral or negative as artificial intelligence deciphers sentiment from human expression.

How Was the Score Calculated?

So basically it sounds like they scour the internet, look for posts of pictures, videos of experiences and dialogued conversation and then feed it through an AI filter which then looks for the positive, neutral and the negative.

Then they give it a score based on an algorithm.

Ok, not sure if that’s right but hey, I gave it a shot at explaining the word salad that I found in an article on KelownaNow.

To give you some context, The Maldives came in at number 1 with a score of 40.26.

You know the Maldives right? Beautiful blue ocean. Resorts built in the ocean waters. A beautiful archipelago that spans across the equator.

Fernie came in with a score of 25.25 and Kelowna scored just behind them at 24.43.

What Was Kelowna’s Top Asset(s)?

So can you guess what the top asset was? 

Well if you’ve visited Kelowna, then you should have a pretty good guess.

Wineries and vineyards were at the top of the list.

That’s certainly a great place to start, but let’s add to the list, shall we?

What Else is Kelowna Known For?

Love to golf? So do I. Kelowna is home to about 2000 hours of sunshine per year with one of the longest and driest golf seasons in the country.

Add to that, 19 golf courses in and around Kelowna and you will never get bored of playing the same course over and over.

Hiking and Mountain Biking come to mind for sure when thinking about Kelowna. I’ve mentioned Knox and Boucherie before, but there is a ton of other spots to hike around Kelowna like Lebanon Creek, Paul’s Tomb, Glen Canyon, Layer Cake and many more spots to explore.

Loving the lake life? 

Lake Okanagan isn’t the only option to bust out the paddle board or ski boat. You’ve got Kalamalka and Wood Lake within minutes of the north end of the city. If you want to just lounge on a beach somewhere, you have about 30 to choose from.

So pack a cooler, take your lunch and head out for an afternoon but get there early to grab a good spot.

What about the winter months though?

Well, if you like to ski and snowboard you have your choice of three ski hills all within 40 to 90 minutes from downtown Kelowna in Apex, Big White and Silver Star.

Ice fishing more your thing? Well there are a ton of lakes all within an hours drive from Kelowna, plus you have the lakes that I mentioned earlier to choose from if you want to stick closer to home.

Ice skating at Stuart Park. Kelowna Rockets Hockey games at Prospera Place. Or snow shoeing at the Myra Canyon Trestles round out some winter activities nicely.

Kelowna is so much more than vineyards and wineries, in my opinion, Kelowna should have fared a lot higher than Fernie BC!

That’s all I have for you today on this video! If you can think of anymore amazing things to do here in Kelowna, then leave them in the comments below.

If you are thinking about selling your current home or looking to relocate to Kelowna, then we should talk. You can give me a call or send me a text to 778-716-7527 or shoot me an email anytime to


New property listed in Lake Country

I have listed a new property at 15065 Highland Road in Lake Country. See details here

Well appointed 2400 sqft bungalow with breathtaking views of Wood and Kalmalka lake! This 3 bed, 2 bath home is situated on a spacious quarter-acre lot with tons of storage and a finished walkout basement. The property has been lovingly updated with new paint, baseboards, and kitchen countertops. It also boasts a oversized single attached garage and RV Parking for your boat or your motorhome/trailer. Enjoy the family-friendly location, steps away from the Okanagan rail trail and the Palmewash Parkway which is a beautiful road that runs along the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake, connecting Vernon and Kelowna. This scenic drive is a must-see for anyone visiting the area and is a popular destination for locals to enjoy on weekends or during the summer months. With an open concept living area, large windows, finished walkout basement with wood burning fireplace and ample natural light, this home is perfect for entertaining or relaxing with loved ones. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to own a slice of paradise in the Okanagan! (id:2493)


Kelowna or Kamloops: Where Would you Rather Live?

If you are thinking about making a move to Kelowna or the Okanagan in general and are having a hard time deciding on where to live, then keep reading. Today’s blog is going to compare living in Kelowna to living in Kamloops.

There are 5 topics that I am going to cover where I point out the similarities as well as some of the differences.

Both Kamloops and Kelowna are located in the Okanagan Valley region, but they have their unique characteristics that set them apart from each other. 

Today we are going to explore the five distinct similarities and differences between these two cities.

  1. Geography and Climate

Kelowna and Kamloops are both situated in the Okanagan Valley region, but their geography and climate are quite different. Kelowna is located on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake and has a semi-arid climate with warm summers and mild winters.

Kamloops, on the other hand, is located in the Thompson Valley and has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and colder winters. 

If you like a more desert-like landscape, then Kamloops is definitely for you. Kelowna on the other hand certainly has some of that desert like landscape going on but I would say it has more lush greenery including orchards and vineyards.

One last major difference is that Kamloops is what I would call a river city where Kelowna is a lake city right on the eastern shore of Okanagan lake. 

Both areas certainly have their share of water-sports right there in each city during the summertime. One thing that may be overlooked is the amount of lakes and camping outside of each city, you can be at multiple camping sites and fish stocked lakes within an hour of each location.

Ok number two on the list…

  1. Population and Economy

Kelowna and Kamloops are both growing cities, but Kelowna has a larger population than Kamloops. Kelowna's population is around 142,000, while Kamloops' population is around 90,000. 

Kelowna has a diverse economy that includes tourism, agriculture, and technology. Kamloops, on the other hand, has a resource-based economy that includes mining, forestry, and manufacturing. 

That being said though, Kamloops has successfully been able to diversify its economy to include technology, bio energy, tourism and manufacturing.

In fact, Kamloops kind of reminds me of growing up in Prince George. They are definitely a river city with forestry as one of the main drivers of the economy and they have a pulp mill within the city itself. 

If you’ve lived in a town with a pulp mill, you know what kind of smells you can expect in the middle of a hot summer downwind from the mill!

Kamloops has a lot of the amenities and access to shopping that Kelowna does including all of the major big box stores that a city of almost 100 thousand people should have like a Costco, Home Depot and Canadian Tire.

Alright, number 3…

  1. Recreation and Outdoor Activities

Both Kelowna and Kamloops offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Kelowna has a wide range of recreational activities, including hiking, cycling, skiing, and water sports. 

The city is also known for its beautiful parks and beaches. Kamloops,is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with numerous hiking and mountain biking trails, fishing spots, and golf courses. 

The summers in Kelowna are amazing with multiple beaches right within the city if you’re into lounging. If you want a little more excitement you can take in some para sailing or rent a boat for the day and head out and explore the lake while at the same time, getting your surf on. 

If you’re into skiing in the winter months, you are about 45 minutes from Big White, an hour and a half to Apex out by Penticton and about an hour to Silver Star by Vernon.

In Kamloops you have the Thompson and the North Thompson Rivers which converge in the city which offers boating, fishing and paddle boarding options. The awesome part about living in Kamloops, if you are into the outdoor lifestyle, is the over 100 lakes that are within a 1 hour drive of the city.

In the winter the ski hill closest to Kamloops is Sun Peaks, which boasts 16 square kilometers of rideable terrain. This is the second largest in the entire country second only to Whistler Blackcombe. Of course we can’t forget to mention Harper Mountain, which is a great smaller ski hill that is only 30 minutes from the city!

On to number 4, one of my favorite topics, the housing market…

  1. Housing Market

I have talked at great length on this channel about the housing market here in Kelowna and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, here are some quick stats once again.

The benchmark price of a home here in Kelowna is now sitting at around $977,000. The average days on the market is 37 and we are right now sitting in a buyers market. 

Kamloops on the other hand is a lot more affordable with the single family benchmark price coming in at $605,000 for January 2023. The single family days on market is sitting at 52 days on market and the market also currently favours the buyer, albeit with about a month less of supply than Kelowna.

Of course Kamloops is a smaller in terms of population than Kelowna, but the overall size of the city is quite a bit larger at 297.3 square kilometers compared to 218 square kilometers in Kelowna giving it a little more room to expand which will ultimately keep pricing lower than the Central Okanagan area.

Lastly, number 5 on the list is…

  1. Education and Health Care

Kelowna and Kamloops are both home to several educational institutions, including universities and colleges. Kelowna is home to the University of British Columbia Okanagan, while Kamloops is home to Thompson Rivers University. 

Both of these schools offer great opportunities for students to stay here in the Okanagan, close to home and to get a great education. Both of these schools also offer a lot of employment opportunities for the residents of these two cities. 

According to the invest kelowna dot com website, the education sector accounts for approximately 8300 jobs here in the Central Okanagan.

Both cities also have well-established health care systems, with hospitals and medical centers that serve their respective populations. 

The healthcare and social assistance sectors in the Central Okanagan is the second largest employer in the region with about 13,700 employees. Kelowna of course has Kelowna General Hospital with many walk in and family clinics in the city as well as Lake Country and West Kelowna. 

I can tell you that there is a shortage of doctors in the Central Okanagan and if you are looking to make a move, be prepared to get yourself on a wait list for a family doctor.

According to Venture Kamloops, the health care sector is also the leading employer for the region with just under 8000 people employed. Kamloops has the Royal Inland Hospital which is a 254 bed acute care facility and one of only two tertiary care centres in Interior Health District.

Now, I can’t speak to the health care system there as I don’t live there, but the entire province is experiencing health care worker shortages so I have to assume that I would give you the same advice if you were looking at Kamloops as an alternative to Kelowna, get on a waitlist early!

There are a lot of similarities between these two southern interior cities, the biggest differences are in size/area, population and geography/landscape.  

Kelowna and Kamloops are two beautiful cities that have their unique characteristics. Both areas offer plenty of outdoor activities, a thriving arts and cultural scene, and excellent educational and health care systems. 

So what do you think? If you were making a move to BC and specifically to the Okanagan, which city would be right for you? 

If you are thinking of making a move to or selling your current home in, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country or Peachland, then we should talk. You can call me at 778-716-7527 or shoot me an email at

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