Demand for rural acreage has exploded in British Columbia, indeed across North America, since the onset of the pandemic a year ago. There has been a sustained movement from major cities to smaller towns and rural enclaves as the pandemic shut down much of what makes big cities attractive while technology made it possible for many people to work remotely.
In the past nine months, more than 62,000 Vancouver residents searched for rural property through Landcor Data Corp., which tracks all land titles in British Columbia.
While many searches also originated from Burnaby, Calgary and Edmonton, Vancouverites represent the largest share of all those looking for a rural home or investment property.
The Kamloops region experienced a 10 per cent surge in subsequent sales of five acres or more in 2020, while the Okanagan region saw sales increase 38 per cent, Landcor Data shows.
So the rare opportunity to secure a quarter section of prime land in B.C.’s Thompson-Okanagan is attracting sustained interest. One of the few remaining large acreages available that is not in the Agricultural Land Reserve, the 160-acre parcel is located in the upscale community of Barnhartvale, a 17-minute drive from Kamloops and within an hour of Kelowna, the two largest cities in the Thompson-Okanagan region.
The asking price for the 160 acres is $540,000, which is far less than the price of a Vancouver condominium.
The land would be ideal to build a cabin or a substantial home, start a farm or become a private camping, hiking and hunting ground, according to Daimion Applegath, owner of The Applegath Group, Re/Max Real Estate in Kamloops.
While the land is inviting as an off-grid retreat – with creeks, ultimate privacy backdropped by Crown land on two sides, valuable standing timber and panoramic mountain views – power hookups are possible and there is access to local highways. One potential for the 160 acres is an agri-community, where like-minded individuals form a co-housing community centred around agriculture – a proven concept in B.C. – but Applegath said its real attraction is as a family legacy property that offers a retreat to a tranquil, completely private parcel of paradise.
The Barnhartvale area is known for luxury homes, master-planned residential subdivisions, riding stables, three golf courses and a nearby winery, he noted.
The Kamloops area is seeing near unprecedented real estate demand this year. Residential sales are forecast to increase 11.7 per cent in 2021, according to the BC Real Estate Association, with average prices rising a further 5.5 per cent after posting a year-over-year increase of nearly 10 per cent in 2020.
Applegath noted that recent listings of homes on 10 acres in the Kamloops area have an average price of $985,000 and are on the market for a median of 121 days.
“We are receiving more than 50 inquiries a month for vacant land in Kamloops, with almost no inventory for 160 acres of land,” Applegath said, noting that interest has come from the Okanagan, Metro Vancouver, Ontario, the U.S. and even Australia.
Securing a quarter-section of land in one of B.C.’s fastest-growing recreational and residential markets just a four-hour drive from Vancouver is an aspirational opportunity that could prove the investment of a lifetime, he added.
For complete information, including a brochure, on this 160-acre Kamloops-area opportunity, contact the Applegath Group, Kamloops, phone 250-314-9555.