Thursday, 26 March 2015
January may have been typically slow in our area but February exploded with a flurry of business that surprised even the optimists among us. Sales in February were up 43% over the same month last year; 379 vs. 265! A huge increase! Also, there were 932 new listings in February this year compared to 839 last year, giving us an active base of just over 2000 listings.
While the total number of listings is below last year at this time, the rise in new listings in February is encouraging. Another interesting statistic is “Days on Market” which tells us how long a property took to sell. In February, the Days on Market dropped from 110 days last year to 86 days this year.
The buying activity is strong with a good mix of properties selling across the pricing spectrum. The strongest growth in sales was in the $400,000 to $479,000 price range (up 68%) with most other price ranges showing sales growth of between 30% and 40% compared to 2014.
While it is still too early to say there will be no impact on the market resulting from the drop in oil prices, we are seeing a healthy start to 2015 which gives support to reasonable optimism. The U.S. economy continues to show renewed strength with Canada not far behind. The strength of the U.S. dollar and the weakening Canadian dollar may well be a positive thing for the resource based economy of BC. As the U.S. grows, so does the demand for our lumber and other exports which is further enhanced by the lower Canadian dollar. While the lower Canadian dollar is frustrating to those holidaying in the U.S., for our economy, it is a significant benefit. Flowing from this is the stability of our employment and from that the stability and strength of our real estate market.
Interest rates are holding at record lows with no real sign of change in the near to mid-range ahead. Overall, we expect a good year in 2015 with continued growth in the economy resulting in steady buying and selling activity.
Monday, 16 March 2015
The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reported that a total of 6,661 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service in February, up 19.4 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.3 billion, a nice increase of 24.8 per cent compared to last year. The average MLS residential price in the province rose to $639,405, up 4.5 per cent from the same month last year.
Consumer demand remained robust in February. After several years of below-average activity, home sales are now trending above long-term levels. The total active listings on the market were down 7.5 per cent from a year ago, with fewer homes for sale, combined with elevated consumer demand has the housing market firmly in balanced conditions.
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 18 per cent to $6.9 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 12.4 per cent to 11,038 units, while the average MLS residential price was up 5.0 per cent at $621,065.
Thursday, 12 February 2015
The British Columbia Real Estate Association has released its 2015 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update.
Stronger economic conditions here at home and abroad combined with favourable interest rates and population growth are expected to bolster housing demand over the next two years. After a year in which housing demand was higher across the province, the retrenchment of oil prices is expected to attenuate housing demand in some regions while bolstering it in others. The Multiple Listing Service residential sales in British Columbia is forecast to rise 2.4 per cent to 86,050 units this year and a further 3.9 per cent to 89,400 units in 2016. The ten-year average is 82,100 unit sales. With a record 106,300 MLS residential sales were recorded in 2005.
The average MLS residential sales price is forecasted to rise 4.5 per cent to $594,000 this year, with most of the upward pressure being on the South Coast. Elevated consumer demand is expected to be partially offset by resale inventories and additions to the housing stock in 2016. As a result, the average MLS residential sales price is forecast to increase by 2.4 per cent to $608,500 next year
Wednesday, 4 February 2015
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Monday, 19 January 2015
The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is reporting that a total of 84,049 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS in 2014, up 15.2 per cent from 2013. After lagging for several years, BC home sales have eclipsed the ten-year average of 82,000 units and the 15-year average of 83,600 units.
Total sales dollar volume was $47.8 billion, an increase of 21.9 per cent from 2013. With the average MLS residential price in the province of BC rising to $568,405, up 5.8 per cent from the previous year.
BC has experienced a significant increase in housing demand last year. Not since the post-recession rebound of 2009 has the market posted such a turn around. Home buyers were out in full force in nearly every region of the province, with unit sales climbing 8 to 25 per cent in all BC real estate boards, except in Kamloops where the number of transactions dropped nearly 5 per cent. Stronger consumer demand not only pushed down the inventory of homes for sale, but also firmed market conditions throughout the province.
In December, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 18.2 per cent to $2.97 billion, compared to the same month last year. Residential unit sales were up 14.7 per cent to 4,426 units, with the average MLS residential price was up 3 per cent to $585,718.
Monday, 12 January 2015
There is no doubt in my mind that the price of oil will come into play and it will affect our buyers from Alberta, who make up close to 20% of our transactions. Realistically, if we maintain the same activity as 2014, then we are in for a strong year. Prior to the drop in oil prices, 2015 looked like it was just going to continue to move right on as it did in 2014. But even with a significantly lower oil price, December was one of our strongest months for increased activity and January has started off strong too.
Should the oil prices remain low for a relatively short time, which we all think they will, then we may not see much affect at all. If 2015 sees a full year of low oil prices, it may start eroding consumer confidence which has been the main driving force for a strong 2014. The next few months will be interesting.
The month of December showed a strong finish to the year with sales up almost 24% over the same time last year with 312 properties changing hands. With only 346 new listings that were added to the inventory, pretty much the same as last December, resulting in 2,657 listings to start the new year off with, down considerably from 3,210 at the end of 2013.
Overall, 2014 saw an increase of 21.31% of units sold, volume was up a staggering 31.59% yet listing inventory is down over 17%. What that translates to is an increased price for residential properties on average of 7%, and the median increase of 6%; both pretty similar.
The average sales price of a single family home for 2014 is $498,563, a townhouse is $361,453 and condos $243,443.