EDITORIAL: The increasing cost of housing

The increasing property values should be cause for concern in Summerland and in rest of the region

Properties in Summerland are expensive.

The latest figures, released by B.C. Assessment this week, show the average single family home price, as of July 1, was $582,000. That’s an increase of 16 per cent over the past year.

And while property values went up in other parts of the region, our prices are still higher than most.

Penticton’s average assessment value was $502,000. Osoyoos had an average value of $472,000, Oliver’s average value was $327,000 and Princeton’s average value was $224,000.

Put another way, a Summerland homeowner with a typical home here could sell, move to Princeton, buy two average houses and still come out ahead financially.

Those who are already in the housing market here may see a change in the value of their homes, but such a change exists only on paper. The true financial impacts of a change in property values is felt only when one buys or sells a home.

However, the increasing property values should still be cause for concern in Summerland and in the rest of the region.

In past years, Summerlanders have spoken of the need to attract young families and workers to the community. However, the cost of housing here is a significant obstacle.

Property values are increasing far faster than the rate of inflation. Wages do not increase as rapidly as housing values.

For some families who would like to live in Summerland, the housing costs alone will put this community out of reach. Others, also considering a move to Summerland, may ask themselves if the quality of life in this community is worth the additional financial burden of buying and living here.

As homeowners look at their latest property assessments, it may be time to consider the cost of housing here, what it will mean for our community and how to respond to the increases in recent years.

Just Posted

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

B.C. BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

Last night marks the Okanagan’s coldest night this season

Penticton broke a record at -18 C for the coldest night of the winter

Man narrowly skips jail in Summerland hit-and-run

Judge Meg Shaw said she wouldn’t have considered the submission if not for efforts to curb liquor use

Hope raises thousands for two Kelowna charities

The event Hope in Her Eyes managed to raise more than $17,000 for two Kelowna non-profits

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. runner takes silver at Pan American cross-country championships

Tyler Dozzi’s medal pushes U20 Team Canada to gold finish

LETTER: Thanks for Summerland council’s decision

We will grow in time, but I believe slowly and carefully is the way to grow

LETTER: Thanks for a difficult decision

Council and staff had a hard task with Banks Crescent

LETTER: A colossal waste of resources

Council put the community through an additional 14 months of angst, protest, updates and grief

LETTER: Workable Urban Growth Area needed

Summerland residents must come together with open minds to discuss planning

LETTER: Thanks to council for voting No

I firmly believe the right decision for Summerland was made

LETTER: Costs should be disclosed

What should now be required is an independent audit of the costs borne by the people of Summerland

Most Read