Three Recreational Areas In British Columbia That Investors Should Keep An Eye On This Summer - Fifth Avenue REM mediaiqdigital tracking pixel
Home Buying, Market Intelligence, Real Estate News | May 22, 2023

Unveiling the Road to Success: Bamfield Shines on the Pacific Rim; Penticton Powerhouse: Massive Expansion Set to Ignite South Okanagan; Coldstream’s Coastal Makeover and Infrastructure Revamp: A Northern Paradise Transformed!

In November, Western Investor handpicked the mighty duo of Bamfield and Penticton as two of the top five towns for savvy real estate investors in 2023. Now, brace yourselves as we introduce the sensational addition of Coldstream—a picturesque beachfront community near Vernon—to our coveted list of three scorching recreational markets in beautiful British Columbia to keep an eye on this sizzling summer.


Bamfield, a tiny gem nestled on the Pacific Rim of Vancouver Island, recently welcomed its first-ever highway connection, slashing the travel time from Port Alberni to a mere two hours. The completion of this long-awaited road triggered a surge in land and home prices, creating both excitement and caution among the residents.

The caution stems from a haunting chapter in Bamfield’s history. In the late 1990s, a corrupt lawyer and alleged drug smuggler gained control of almost every business in town, allowing them to deteriorate while utilizing them for money laundering. However, justice prevailed, the businesses were reclaimed and revitalized, and the disgraced lawyer faced arrest.

Today, Bamfield is reclaiming its destiny and aiming to become the next Tofino, as proclaimed by local real estate agents. Since the road project commenced in 2020, the average price of a detached house skyrocketed from $472,000 to a staggering $728,000. However, recent months have witnessed a slight decline, with average house prices dropping nearly 10 percent to $662,200. Despite this, available listings remain scarce, with only nine properties currently on the market, ranging from a waterfront lot priced at $278,000 to an exquisite oceanfront house priced at $1.1 million.

Craig Filipchuk, a reputable agent from Re/Max Mid Island, reveals that Bamfield is embarking on an exciting new residential subdivision, presenting lucrative opportunities for short-term rentals as the word spreads about this alluring oceanfront community. Furthermore, Bamfield’s listings boast more affordable price tags compared to its renowned counterparts, Ucluelet and Tofino, which are separated by water from this hidden gem.


Don’t fret if you feel like you missed out on the Kelowna boom of recent years, because Penticton beckons with an enticing opportunity to be part of one of Canada’s premier recreational markets, all at more affordable prices.

Situated just 45 minutes away from Kelowna in the South Okanagan, Penticton boasts stunning lakefront beaches, a plethora of outdoor activities, a flourishing food and wine scene that attracts tourists, and top-notch recreational facilities. Over the past five years, Penticton’s population has experienced a noteworthy 9 percent increase, while the rental vacancy rate has dropped to a mere 1.1 percent, as reported by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

What sets Penticton apart from its neighboring Kelowna is the exemption from British Columbia’s speculation tax and vacant-home tax, making it an even more appealing destination. Anthony Haddad, the General Manager of Community Services in Penticton, highlights the city’s ambitious North Gateway Plan, a grand redevelopment endeavor that will introduce an impressive 2,000 new homes. Located in the northwest corner of the city, the North Gateway will feature a delightful array of boutique shops, diverse housing options, hotels, and an array of entertainment and recreation amenities. Moreover, the plan includes provisions for up to 350 new hotel rooms and approximately 30,000 square feet of fresh commercial space, enhancing the city’s vibrancy and appeal.

House Prices

Currently, the average price of a detached house in Penticton stands at $754,500, marking an 8.7 percent decrease from the previous year. Notably, this average remains well below the current $1.1 million average in Kelowna, making Penticton an attractive alternative for savvy investors. Waterfront properties in the Penticton area can be acquired at an average price of $1.03 million, reflecting a 24 percent decline compared to the previous year. As of May 1st, the market offered 22 waterfront properties for sale, doubling the number from a year ago.

Shane Styles, President of Epic Real Estate Solutions Inc. in Penticton, identifies short-term rentals and the condo market as lucrative investment targets in this thriving city of the South Okanagan. Unlike neighboring Kelowna and Summerland, Penticton imposes no restrictions on short-term rentals.

A consulting firm, commissioned by the city to study the short-term rental policy, discovered around 500 such rentals, with most being full houses, comprising roughly 1 percent of the city’s rental inventory. These rentals generated an average annual revenue of $54,000 in 2022, with an average daily rent of $461.


Nestled in the picturesque North Okanagan, the District of Coldstream stands as a captivating lakefront community adjacent to the vibrant city of Vernon. Renowned for its stunning natural beauty, Coldstream boasts some of the highest real estate prices in the region. Now, with the approval of a comprehensive three-year strategic plan, the neighborhood is poised for potential growth and development.

The rejuvenation of the aging Kal Beach pier has already commenced, marking the first step in Coldstream’s visionary Head of the Lake Plan. This ambitious initiative aims to revitalize the Kalamalka Lake beachfront, creating a captivating hub of future development and attractions.

Moreover, Coldstream is actively engaging in a housing review this year, seeking to accommodate modest population growth while ensuring the preservation of its unique character. Furthermore, an anticipated review of agri-tourism in the area, expected to take place in the third quarter, will further enhance the community’s allure.

Undoubtedly, Coldstream is an Okanagan market that demands attention. With its captivating location, strategic plans for growth, and a commitment to preserving its natural beauty, this neighborhood is poised for an exciting future.



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