Sales Continue to Outpace Last Year July continued the trend of more sales taking place than last year at this time. In fact, the local real estate board shows that sales, year to date, are up more than 10% with July actually showing gains of almost 14% ahead of July last year. This current activity is encouraging to see considering the Federal Government tightened lending practices for mortgages which appears to have had an effect on the Greater Vancouver market which is down 18% and the slowing of the red hot Toronto market. Prices continue to hold steady in Kelowna and area despite this increased level of activity and slightly lower levels of inventory. Buyers still have the upper edge in our market, but we are certainly getting closer to the desirable balanced market. Albertans have returned to the valley during this past year and most recently we are seeing more buyers coming out of the Lower Mainland.
But, our market is definitely locally
driven which is always best for the community overall. Earlier this
month, as mentioned above, the Federal Government made changes to the
mortgage qualifying process by reducing the amortization period from 30 years to 25 years and the amount of home equity interest loans from 80 %
to 65%. It was felt that our level of debt was just getting too high
and that these measures were needed to reign in our spending. The
reduced amortization period likely takes away about 7% of the potential
buyers, primarily the first time home buyers because of the higher
monthly mortgage payments. Or these buyers have to reduce their
expectations as to what they can purchase in the existing marketplace.
As we move half way through summer, with a traditionally quieter August,
it will be interesting to see if we can maintain the strong year we are
Alberta is doing well, optimism seems to be prevalent and our valley
just continues to hold so much attraction to so many people that we
expect to move into the fall on a positive note.