Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Wednesday, 8 April 2015
• Inspect the exterior walls of your entire home. Look for signs of winter damage such as splitting wood, peeling paint, mold, etc.
• Do you have brick? It should be cleaned and checked for water damage once a year. If there is mold, mildew, or moss, wash with a solution of 1cup of bleach mixed with 4L of water. Use a natural or synthetic bristle brush. Wire brushes leave traces of steel behind that will rust and discolor the bricks.
• Clean your windows. And If you use storm windows, remove them.
• Use screens? Make sure they are dust-free and sparkling clean before putting them up.
• Check the driveway for cracks or winter damage.
• Clean the steps & driveway with a spray nozzle hose. If moss is visible, pour vinegar on it and scrub.
• Inspect the gutters around the house. Remove debris.
• Inspect the roof, looking for damage and missing or loose shingles.
• Get your deck ready for use. Clean it with oxalic acid, which will penetrate the wood and kill microorganisms. Once dry (24 hours), treat the deck with a sealant.
• Prepare outdoor furniture for use. If you kept the furniture out during the winter months, you need to scrub the surfaces clean. If you stored your furniture, bring it outside and make sure it’s clean.
• The first step to a beautiful, clean garden is to remove weeds. It is important to leave a few, however, as they do have a purpose; they are food for insects and create a covered landscape for little critters.• Give your garden a filled-in appearance until it grows in. Sprinkle mulch around shrubs, trees, and flowerbeds.say
Real estate activity in March just continued where February left off with unit sales up almost 29% over March of last year with 516 properties of all types changing hands. That means year to date our market is up 23.5% over last year. Our listing inventory is now starting to build as 1,205 new properties came on to the market in March for a total listing inventory of 3,551 which is still about 300 fewer listings than last year at this time but is up about 280 more than in February.
Percentage wise for March, townhouses had the greatest gain in sales at 44% increase over last year with condos following closely behind at 42%. Single family homes, which make up the bulk of the sales, were up over 30%. As far as average price goes, single family homes have held steady at $487,700 year to date but the median price is up 4% at $462,500. Condos and townhouses have maintained a relatively flat median price but condos are starting to show possible gains.
So far the price of oil has had very little effect on our market but it may be too early to conclude that it won’t. Alberta is now making up about 12% of the buyers, down from 18%, but the biggest jump in purchases is from our own local area where they make up about 65% of all purchases, up about 10% from before. The very low interest rates have definitely helped first time home buyers get into the market and overall consumer confidence is strong. Recently, a BC economist stated that if one is not associated with the oil industry, the BC economy is very good for everyone else. With the resurgence of the US economy demand for BC resources and soft wood lumber is increasing. Tourism is expected to increase with our weaker dollar, particularly with the Americans and one would be pretty hard pressed to find a better tourist destination than the Okanagan valley right now.
As we move into April and May, traditionally two of the busiest months, it will be interesting to see this strong trend continue and how it will be affecting housing prices. As we all know, if the listing inventory cannot keep up with the demand, we will see prices continue to climb. So, if you have been sitting on the fence trying to decide whether to make your first purchase or move up into another home, now might be the best time to actually do it.
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.