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Housing costs higher in Summerland than South Okanagan

Community has highest median price within South Okanagan Similkameen region
Housing construction work is continuing in Summerland. According to the 2023 Vital Signs report, Summerland has the highest median housing costs in the South Okanagan Similkameen. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Housing in Summerland is more expensive than the rest of the South Okanagan and Similkameen.

The 2023 Vital Signs report, from the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen, outlines trends and statistics for the region and for individual communities.

According to the report, house prices are higher in Summerland than in the rest of the region.

In July 2023, the median sale price of a single-family home in the region was $735,000. Summerland had a median sale price of $790,000. By comparison, the median cost in Penticton was $727,000, in Osoyoos it was $685,000, in Oliver it was $610,000, in Keremeos it was $505,000 and in Princeton, it was $389,000.

To put these prices in perspective, the median total household income in the region is $71,000.

The high cost of housing is also shown in another statistic in the report. Throughout the region, 13.6 per cent of homeowners and 42.1 per cent of renters spent 30 per cent or more of their income on shelter.

“Home prices and assessed values continue to rise, making home ownership more difficult for first-time buyers,” the report stated. “Home ownership is less financially compromising than renting, though: just over one in 10 homeowners spend 30 per cent or more of their income on housing, compared to four in 10 renters.”

Affordable housing was the top issue identified by those who responded to a survey from the community foundation.

Of those who responded, 57.3 per cent identified affordable housing and 37.5 per cent identified the cost of living as an important issue. In addition, 36.4 per cent identified homelessness as one of the most important issues in the region.

The average monthly cost of shelter in the South Okanagan Similkameen was $1,258 for renters and $1,160 for homeowners. Summerland had the highest monthly shelter costs, at $1,364 a month, just ahead of Penticton, where the average monthly shelter cost was $1,328.

The 2023 Vital Signs report is the sixth such report in the past 12 years.

“We believe that Vital Signs is a powerful tool to identify community strengths, challenges, and needs,” said Aaron McRann, executive director of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen. “We know that it is a catalyst for community conversation.”

John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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