Former Lower Mainland residents loving more affordable Kamloops

By Chad Klassen
August 15, 2016 - 4:04pm Updated: August 15, 2016 - 6:25pm

KAMLOOPS — The Kamloops housing market is among the hottest in the province right now, and the affordability crunch in the Lower Mainland is paying some big dividends for the B.C. Interior.

Year to date numbers are up significantly over 2015 in the Kamloops region.

While the Vancouver market has cooled down slightly, it's not stopping people on the coast from packing their bags and moving to the interior.

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It's been a little more than a week since he moved from Squamish, but already Russ Inouye loves his place in Sun Rivers. 

He has a million dollar view of the city, with a clear sightline of the South Thompson River, and really the entire city. But Inouye didn't pay a million dollars for his house, significantly less than he sold his place along the Sea-to-Sky.

"The market has basically skyrocketed, particularly in the Vancouver area, but also out to places like Squamish," says Inouye, who moved in with his wife on August 3. "With this market, you're basically looking at getting the same quality of home in Kamloops for about half the price you'd get in Squamish."

Inouye is one of many that have cashed in on the Coast and moved up to Kamloops, where the price of housing is much more affordable, with equally stunning scenery.

Since moving in, he's integrated himself right into the community. 

"It's been great, we participated in the Ribfest the first weekend we were actually here," he says. "We went every night and really enjoyed the music, found out about the Music in the Park. We intend to take in more music in the park."

Realtor Melissa Betts says the Kamloops market is hot right now, due in part to the migration from the Lower Mainland.

"Six to seven out of 10 of my clients are coming from the Lower Mainland and it's awesome," says Betts. "Everyone is enjoying what Kamloops has to offer." 

Housing sales in July marked a 13% jump from the same month last year with 329 units sold. The median price for a home in Kamloops sits at $414,000. 

For Inouye, a retired firefighter, it hasn't even been two weeks since moving to Kamloops, but he loves it already and loves the extra money in the bank. 

"I see no reason to move from here. It provides us with everything we were looking for in a move. It's still relatively close to Vancouver, it has an airport, it's close to the Okanagan Lakes," says Inouye. "We have some friends in the Cariboo, so we're closer to them. It's very central here. We're very happy here so far." 

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