You sure have cheap real estate in Princeton

An average house in Princeton is very affordable compared to many other places in B.C. - and it will stay this way.

My friend’s parents recently told me they were having a hard time finding a house to buy under $1 million.

They live in North Vancouver, and aren’t looking for a mansion.

Yes, they’re a bit picky, but let me assure you that they’re not looking for anything spectacular.

There requests – a sturdy, medium-sized standard home with a bit of character – can cost much more than most people can afford in the Lower Mainland.

Single-family homes in North Vancouver increased this year between five and 10 per cent.

And don’t even think about West Vancouver, which saw huge increases up to 30 per cent.

The average price of a home there is over $1.5 million.

I’m not talking about huge estates – normal, everyday houses are in the millions.

These soaring prices go a long way in making Princeton an even better place to live.

A typical single-family home here costs only $225,000, about one-sixth less than one in West Van.

Prospective homeowners would likely find it impossible to buy a tiny apartment for under $300,000 in many places near Vancouver.

Why are people willing to pay these prices in North and West Vancouver and other places in the Lower Mainland?

It may be closeness to downtown Vancouver, the atmosphere or the jobs that are available.

Others want to raise their families in the neighbourhood they grew up in.

Or so they thought. Many simply can’t afford to no matter how long they save up.

Prices are much more affordable in Princeton, but they are increasing. An average house rose nearly four per cent this year compared to last, according to a BC Assessment report.

I don’t think prices will ever reach the levels seen in the Lower Mainland, which is good for newcomers to the community.

The thing homeowners don’t want to see is decreasing house values.

Luckily this didn’t happen in Princeton this year.

The town was one of the only communities in the South Okanagan that saw rising house prices.