Wednesday, 28 March 2012

February Buyers Survey Results:

The results of OMREB's February 2012 Buyers Survey are in!
A total of 123 respondents participated in this survey – representing 43% of the 285 OMREB sales representatives who acted as Buyers Agents and 32% of the 385 deals closed on behalf of Buyers in February.

FEBRUARY SURVEY SUMMARY

Property Type:

20.7% by First Time Buyers
20.7% of purchases were by Move-Up Buyers
14.0% buying Revenue/Investment Property
13.2% moving from Single Family Home to Strata Unit
6.6% moving into Retirement Home/Seniors Community
4.1% Recreation Property Buyers
3.3% moving from Strata property to Single Family Home

Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):

28.0% Two parent family/children
23.2% Couple without children
16.8% Empty Nesters/Retired
12.8% Single Female
9.6% Single Male
4.8% Single Parent with children

Moving From:

64.8% from Within OMREB Board Area
19.2% from Alberta
9.6% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island
4.8% from Other Areas in BC
0.8% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba
0.8% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes
0% from Outside Canada
0% from NWT/Yukon (fifth month reported)

OMREB- Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

HIGGINS REPORT ON THE MARKET....

Stats Comparison 2012 vs. 2011 for the Month of Feb.

Number of Sales by Month:
Feb 2012                        Feb 2011
       289                                 249
Number of Sales Year to Date:
Feb 2012                        Feb 2011
       500                                 462
Residential House Prices by Month
Feb 2012                        Feb 2011
Average $437,267                 $444,134
Median $404,950                  $422,000
Residential House Prices Year to Date:
Feb 2012                         Feb 2011
Average $427,635                 $441,179
Median $403,600                  $413,500
Number of Units Listed:
Feb 2012                           Feb 2011
       954                                    1,022
Days to Sell by Month - Residential:
Feb 2012                           Feb 2011
       83                                      86
Days to Sell Year to Date - Residential:
Feb 2012                            Feb 2011
       91                                       96
Single Family Sales by PriceYear to Date:
                                                           2011         2012

Price range:
$0 - $239,999                                             7              7
$240,000 - $319,999                                  23            34
$320,000 - $399,999                                  72            75
$400,000 - $479,999                                  54            50
$480,000 - $559,999                                  39            33
$560,000 - $999,999                                  31            33
$1 million & over                                        2              1

Active Inventory Central Okanagan - February 2012
Res.- 1,391
Condo. - 922  
Mobiles - 206
Lots - 550

 *Based on MLS® Active Listings & Sold Units as Reported by OMREB in 2011 for Central Okanagan.

HIGGINS REPORT ON THE MARKET....

 HOW’S THE MARKET?

Kelowna, BC – We anticipate that newly released HST Transitional Rules, continued low interest rates and abundant supply will spur the market in 2012 as first-time home buyers, new home buyers and investors take advantage of bonus’s and increased rebate thresholds for new homes.

HST HIGHLIGHTS:
· The First-Time Home New Home Buyer’s Bonus – 5% OF THE PURCHASE PRICE UP TO MAXIMUM OF $10,000
· The B.C. new housing rebate threshold will be increased to $850,000, effective April 1st with a maximum rebate of $42,000
· New homes where construction begins before April 1, 2013 and possession occurs after, buyers will not pay the 7% provincial portion of the HST but rather a Transitional Tax of 2% plus GST.
· Enhanced New Rental Housing Rebate to support the construction or substantial renovation of affordable rental housing.

RE/MAX Kelowna has had a brisk start to the year, writing 28% more transactions year to date than in 2011. We are monitoring the trend of investors making real estate their investment vehicle
of choice which is evidenced in OMREB’S January Buyer’s Survey which reported that investors made up 16.6% of all of our Buyers in the month of January, which is up considerably over previous year’s numbers.
The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported February 2012 sales activity of all MLS® property types improved over the same month last year as the housing market continues on a moderate but steady upward trend.
“February home sales remained strong in the Okanagan-Shuswap, and on par with the 10-15 year average for unit sales,”says Rob Shaw, OMREB Vice President. “The trend in modest rising sales over the past few months is in line with the gradual growth in the economy and indicates market improvement.
Province-wide, prices are staying relatively flat and holding steady in most segments in our Board area.”
Overall sales in the Central Zone for the month rose 16% to 289 units ($100.4million) compared to 249 ($95.5 million) in February 2011, and improved by 58.0% over the units sold last month (183). Total residential sales for February were up 11.4% to 263 units compared to 236 sold last year, and jumped 39.2% from 189 in January. Single family home sales (130 units) remained similar to last February (129), but climbed 27.5% compared to last month (102). Townhouse sales in February showed a 113% improvement over 2011 (to 49 from 23), and were up 96% from units sold in January (25). While inventory for the month (4,500) units was up 1.4% over 4,437 in 2011, the 954 new listings for February dropped 6.7% from the 1,022 last year at this time.
Values range from property to property depending on location, condition, inventory and other factors. Contact Me for your Housing Check-Up today!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Easter Egg Hunt

Kelowna's largest Easter egg hunt will be held on Good Friday April 6th sponsored by Victory Life Fellowship. This ninth annual event, will be held at the Parkinson Recreation Centre. It will start at 10 a.m. As in past years this is a free Easter event.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

New Housing Affordability in Canada Reports Part ll

In a separate report also released Wednesday, by the Royal Bank it said  it became slightly more affordable to own a home in Canada for the second straight quarter.

The RBC Housing Trends and Affordability Report found that at the end of 2011 home prices eased off and income increased, two forces that combined to give a break to the market. "The improvement in affordability was modest for the most part, but still significant enough to dial back the deterioration that impacted the market in spring last year," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. Wright added that the cost of owning a home represented less of a "pinch" on household budgets in the fourth quarter of 2011, following an earlier improvement in the third quarter.

National affordability levels took a major hit in the first half of 2011, the report says, mostly driven by steep real estate price increases in Vancouver. However, prices in the city eased in the second half of 2011 and aligned more closely with those in housing markets across the country.

Wright said the report predicts home affordability across the country will continue to improve going forward, largely due to low interest rates. "At this point, housing in Canada is essentially as affordable as it was a year ago, and only slightly less affordable on average than it has been over the long term," Wright said. "All things considered, the housing market is sitting in a reasonably balanced position overall, despite some minor stress being exerted on housing demand."

The RBC Housing Affordability Measure uses the cost of owning a detached bungalow as a benchmark to measure affordability and comes up with a percentage that represents the portion of pre-tax household income required to cover ownership expenses.

Following are the results for some key cities across Canada (change from previous quarter in brackets):
Vancouver: 86 per cent (-4.6 percentage points)                    
Toronto: 52.2 per cent (-0.1 percentage points)                   
Montreal: 40.1 per cent (-0.7 percentage points)                    
Ottawa: 40.9 per cent (-0.1 percentage points)                      
Calgary: 36.7 per cent (-0.7 percentage points)                       
Edmonton: 32.8 per cent (-0.3 percentage points)                     
Halifax: 32.6 per cent (-0.3 percentage points) 

Interestingly, despite the fact Vancouver saw the largest improvement in affordability, it remained the least affordable city in Canada to own a home with estimated home ownership costs eating up the lion's share of a typical household's monthly income.That will likely serve as a deterrent to prospective Vancouver buyers going forward, which could further improve prices, RBC suggests.

In Alberta, which enjoyed one of the more affordable housing markets in Canada, there was a notable hesitancy among buyers, the report said. That's unlikely to last, however. "Going forward, a strong labor market and affordable housing should shake off any hesitation that Alberta homebuyers may have," the report said. Calgary's housing market was relatively flat in the fourth quarter of 2011, which was surprising considering the fact 31,000 new jobs were created in the city in 2011.

Saskatchewan saw a surge in home resales, with affordability improving across most types of housing.

Manitoba was the only province to record a slight deterioration in affordability in Q4, with high demand tightening conditions and driving up prices, particularly for two-storey homes and condominiums.

In Ontario sellers continue to hold the upper hand, with high demand among buyers despite the above-average proportion of household income required to own a home in the province. "This does not appear to be a strain on homebuyers in the province at this stage. Home resales advanced at a good clip in the fourth quarter and the tight availability of homes gave sellers the upper hand," the report said.

Housing affordability in Quebec remained stable in the fourth quarter of 2011, while Atlantic Canada saw an increase in resale activity based on two consecutive quarters of improving affordability.

While markets across the Atlantic Canada region were generally balanced, St. John's saw a surge in growth near the end of 2011, along with Halifax -- which may have been attributable to a successful bid for a major shipping contract worth $25 billion.

New Housing Affordability in Canada Reports Part l

Two new housing affordability reports released Wednesday offered a similar viewpoint: Canada's housing market is beginning to level off and prices are shifting in favor of buyers. Said Scotiabank's Adrienne Warren, a senior economist and real estate specialist with the bank, the market is cooling but still remains in better shape than many international markets. "I'm fairly encouraged by what we're seeing in the Canadian housing market currently.

We are looking at sales that have largely levelled-out over the last year or so but still it's quite a healthy pace of build, essentially really in line with the 10-year average," Warren said at the Real Estate Outlook and Trends Forum in Toronto.

Prices are easing, she said, as the combination of higher prices, tighter mortgage regulations and slowing job growth have had a cooling effect on demand. "In general I think we're looking at a relatively level pace of activity and as far as I'm concerned I think that's about the best-case scenario -- that we could see a still healthy housing market that supports the overall economy but not one that continues to heat up."

Warren did warn that if job growth slows significantly, or household debt spikes, the housing market would suffer.

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