Real estate bouncing back

SOARING SALES: : 2015 was a year of rebounding sales for local real estate. - File Photo
SOARING SALES: : 2015 was a year of rebounding sales for local real estate. – File Photo

New permanent Sun Peaks residents are leading the charge for an increase in real estate sales in 2015. The resort’s housing market is seeing a recovery from a downfall that has been occurring since 2008.

“We’re definitely seeing more enthusiasm in the market with more retirees and first time homebuyers that have moved to Sun Peaks to be full time residents. It’s not just seasonal recreational people,” said Lark Frolek-Dale, owner of Remax Alpine Resort Realty Corp., who are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.

There were 86 total sales in Sun Peaks between Jan. 1 and Dec. 8 in 2015, compared to 63 sales in the same period in 2014, a 36.5 per cent increase. The largest increase was in single family home sales, which increased 62.5 per cent with 13 sales in 2015 compared to eight in 2014.

Townhouses also significantly increased with 22 sales in 2015, up from 15 sales in 2014. Condos accounted for nearly half of total sales with 42 units being sold, up 20 per cent from a year ago.

“If you look around Sun Peaks you really see a cross section of ages. It’s not any one group that’s highly represented more than another,” said Liz Forster, managing broker for Sotheby’s International Realty in Sun Peaks.

“I’d say by far the biggest trend I see is that more people want to be here longer term.”

The average sale price also increased by 19 per cent in 2015. The average price of a home was $672,599 compared to $564,575 in 2014.

New homes under construction have also increased. In 2015, 19 building permits were issued compared to 15 in 2014, according to the municipality’s chief administrative officer Rob Bremner.

Local real estate agents attribute the growth of the Sun Peaks community in helping to attract new home buyers, such as the recent expansion of the ski terrain as well as many signature events. The development of the elementary school and secondary academy have also been a key attractant for bringing young families to Sun Peaks.

“It’s turned into a four season destination where everybody wants to be a part of it,” Frolek-Dale said. “Typically when tourism numbers increase we see an improvement in sales.”