Okanagan home sales were up year-over-year in each of the first four months of 2012 and, although May statistics have yet to be released, developers have told Business in Vancouver that they expect the trend to continue.
Van Maren Group owner Eric Van Maren has pre-sold 16 homes at his Cottages on Osoyoos Lake project since February. Half of those sales have come since May 19, when the first of four showhomes arrived.
Van Maren will custom build each of the homes that he sells because each comes on its own lot. His grand plan is to have 284 homes built within the next eight years.
He anticipates selling out the project’s 74-unit first phase within the next two years.
“We’re seeing people who have probably wanted to retire to the Okanagan or buy a cottage here for the past several years but they’ve always been reading the newspaper or seeing news on TV and they just couldn’t convince themselves that it was safe to do so,” he said.
“People are now saying, I’m four years older than when I first started thinking about this. I’d better get on with it.”
Van Maren said hillside homes in the project start at $260,000, whereas lakeside homes start at $700,000.
His group has built 20,000 homes since he and brother Bernie Van Maren founded the venture 38 years ago.
His most recent Okanagan project was the 175-unit Aria condominium development adjacent to Two Eagles golf course in West Kelowna in 2006.