Property transfer data indicates that Okanagan farmland continues to be in strong demand.
Statistics from the BC Ministry of Finance indicate that 103 farm properties in the Okanagan changed hands in the first six months of this year, up 39% from last year. This was more than in any other region, and accounted for 14% of all farm properties sold in the period. Fraser Valley activity ranked second, with 82 properties changing hands, down 28% from a year earlier.
The province as a whole saw 711 farm properties sold in the first six months of 2019, down 2% from a year ago. While many regions saw significant declines, notable gains were posted in the Bulkley-Nechako region, which saw the fourth highest number of trades at 64. This was a 156% increase from last year.
Nanaimo, meanwhile, saw a 300% increase in activity to 16 sales. Despite the relatively low volume of sales, the activity reflected Farm Credit Canada comments earlier this year that demand for Vancouver Island farmland remained strong.
However, demand for Okanagan land was off the charts in FCC’s annual survey of farmland values. This was borne out by Pat Duggan, an agent with Royal LePage Downtown Realty Ltd. in Vernon.
“If you can find good parcels of irrigated farmland, they don’t seem to stay on the market for very long,” he said.
Demand for forage land seems to be driving the sales, with orchards and vineyards also playing a role.