Friday, 19 December 2014

BC Housing Market to End Year with Balanced Conditions

 The British Columbia Real Estate Association reports that there were a total of 5,972 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service in November, up 8.8 per cent from November 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $3.4 million, an increase of 12.1 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS residential price in the province rose to $574,694, up 3.1 per cent from the same month last year.

BC home sales were strong again in November.With improving economic conditions, strong consumer confidence and low mortgage interest rates which are providing a solid foundation for elevated consumer demand. The market conditions have improved province wide, with most regional markets now in the mid to high range of a balanced market. Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 22.1 per cent to $44.8 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 15.3 per cent to 78,973 units, while the average MLS residential price was up 6.0 per cent at $567,292.

Some Decorating Idea's

A Wintery Walkway - We all know what they say about first impressions. Why not light up your stairs or path to your house with candles placed in old wine bottles or in glass hurricane lanterns. Rocks, red berries, or pruned evergreens branches will add a festive touch and make an excellent first impression.

Light Up a Tree - Rather than copying everyone else in your neighbourhood and just throwing a string of lights over your tree, try decorating a few balls. 
Windowscapes - Try decorating your windows is a great idea and something that is often overlooked. Use cut-out reindeer, stars or snowflakes and attach them to the inside of your window to protect them from the elements. Make sure to choose neutral shapes or silhouettes that look well from both inside and outside.

Eye-catching Wreaths - This is an easy way to make the outdoors of your home merry and bright. There are so many options when it comes to these festive decorations. If you are crafty you could make your own wreath. Or you can always purchase a ready-made evergreen wreath and add some small embellishments.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Home Prices on the Rise!

November continued to follow the lead from previous months showing a more active period than last year with unit sales up by 3.1% and volume ahead by almost 12%. Listings are up slightly over November of 2013 by 2.6%, but year to date continues to be down quite significantly by 16%, resulting in higher prices and a seller’s market below the $500,000 price range producing quick sales and multi-offer situations.                                                                                                 

The average sales price of a single family home in November was up a startling 17.5% over November last
year at $540,000 compared to $459,000. Even the median price was up over 12% at $459,500. Year to date, the single family home category is now up by 8% at $500,000, while the median price is $452,500. Condos and townhouse also showed an increase in the median price but more modest at 5.25% and 4.75% respectively. Year to date, the average price of a condo is $243,000 while a townhouse is $362,000.

The next few months may prove very interesting as the price of oil continues to decline. The resource rich sector from Alberta and Saskatchewan has had a positive impact on the activity we have experienced in the valley and should the price of oil stay lower than was expected, it may impact sales in our market.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Year-to-Date Home Sales for October 2014 compared to 2013

The British Columbia Real Estate Association reports that a total of 7,648 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS in October, up 14.6 per cent from October 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $4.4 billion, an increase of 22 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS residential price in the province rose to $575,504, up 7.1 per cent from the same month last year. Great news for all those that are selling!

Consumer demand for housing continues at an elevated level. There were more homes purchased during the first ten months of the year than during all of 2013. To the end of October 73,001 homes have traded hands in the province compared to 72,936 for all of last year.

Strong year-over-year increases in housing demand were experienced in Chilliwack is up 31 per cent, Victoria is up 21.9 per cent and in the Kootenay they up 19.4 per cent in these market areas. Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley and here in the Okanagan  also posted a marked increase in sales activity last month.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 23 per cent to $41.4 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 15.8 per cent to 73,001 units, while the average MLS residential price was up 6.2 per cent at $566,687.

2014 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast for BC

Consumer demand has really gone up this year and is expected to remain at a more elevated level through 2015. With historically low mortgage rates to support the demand, the housing market is also being underpinned by a more robust economy and associated job growth, strong migration and consumer confidence.

The BC MLS residential sales are forecast to increase 15.1 per cent to 83,900 units this year. Stronger economic conditions are expected to be somewhat offset by higher interest rates later next year, and keep home sales from advancing much further. As a result, MLS residential sales are forecast to edge up a further 1.2 per cent to 84,900 units in 2015. The 15-year average is 80,400 unit sales and a record 106,300 MLS residential sales were recorded in 2005.  

The average MLS residential price for the province is forecast to increase 6 per cent to a record $569,800 this year and a further 1.2 per cent to $574,300 in 2015. The new construction activity is generally keeping pace with population and household growth, keeping supply in line with consumer demand. BC housing starts are forecast to increase 4.6 per cent to 28,300 units this year and a further 1.4 per cent to 28,700 units in 2015.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

New Listing on Selkirk Dr. in Dilworth Mountain Estates $999,000.00

The outstanding views are sure to please, in this custom build by Dilworth Homes. An entertainers dream kitchen is complete with high end stainless steel appliances, gorgeous silestone counter tops and amazing feature lighting. Four bedrooms upstairs, and the large master suite that will not disappoint. Double sinks, accent lighting in both bedroom and bathroom, not to mention TWO walk-in closets! The bonus room is a fantastic place to relax and watch a movie, or a perfect space for the kids. The cork flooring throughout the home, creates a seamless flow from room to room. Quietly located right next to a park, you can enjoy the evening from your balcony watching the twinkling city lights. Downstairs boasts an incredible 2 bdrm 2 bath fully contained above ground suite, that is perfect for in-laws, grown children, or perhaps a little extra income each month. No expense was spared, with high end appliances, granite counter tops and more. Even the suite has beautiful views! Dont miss out on this one of a kind home. For more information or to schedule your private viewing, please contact Steve Higgins RE/MAX Kelowna 250.864.7893

Monday, 3 November 2014

New Listing in Lake Country! $29,000.00

Priced to Sell Quickly. Very short walk to the Lake. Close to Shopping, golf, and amenities. 2 Bedrooms, 1 bath, forced air heating. Electric Fireplace. 100 Amp. 55+ Park. Pets with Restrictions. Rentals allowed. Great Neighbors. Peach tree & Raspberries. Owner has moved to Assisted Living. Call Steve Higgins RE/MAX Kelowna  for private viewing 250-864-7893.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

New Listing Condo Lower Mission

LAKE VIEWS, TOP FLOOR, SW CORNER SUITE. Largest & most Luxurious suite in Wildwood 3. Balcony with 270 Degree Views. Heated Floor in Ensuite. Vaulted Ceilings S/S Appliances. 2" Wood blinds. Upgraded fixtures, facets etc. Nicest suite in the complex with the best views. Steps to the Lake and the H2O center. Call Steve Higgins RE/MAX Kelowna 250.864.7893

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Market Report for September.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that there were a total of 7,636 residential sales were recorded by the MLS in September, up 17.5 per cent from September 2013. Total sales dollar volume was  also up $4.4 billion an increase of 25.8 per cent compared to a year ago. The average residential price in the province rose to $574,641, up 7.1 per cent from the same month last year. 

Consumer demand remains strong in most BC regions.  More homes traded hands last month in BC than any September since 2009 while the Okanagan had its best September in nine years which is great news for us here in the Okanagan. With Population growth, low interest rates and strengthening economic conditions continue to be supportive of housing demand. 

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 23.2 per cent to $37 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 16 per cent to 65,353 units, while the average MLS residential price was up 6.2 per cent at $565,655.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Prep your Yard for Winter

It's never to early to to begin preparing your yard and outdoor living spaces for winter.

- Clean patio furniture.
- Move things indoors. Exposure to the elements can cause rust, wear or damage.
- Cover your delicate trees and move your tropical plants indoors.
- Remove water collectors such as bird baths ceramic or glass pots as water expands when frozen and it may cause your containers to crack.
- Remove any leaves or debris as it will suffocate your lawn and cause discoloration. It also makes a great home for rodents and insects looking for a warm home for the winter.
- Cover your vegetable and flower beds. It helps to minimize weeds for next season.
- Care of outdoor ponds. Remove any weeds around it and leaves in the pond. Leaves will decay in the water and build up ammonia levels that can harm your fish.
- Close up your pool before the leaves start to fall.
- And if you are going to plant spring bulbs now is the time to do it.

What is a Good Investment in your Home?

You want to invest in your home wisely. So how do you decide where to put your money?
Knowing which improvements give a higher return can help boost your home’s value and save you time and
Here’s a quick look at how you could prioritize projects around your home. Address the small stuff  if your home is plagued with many minor issues that is usually considered less desirable and harder to sell. Such as  dripping faucets, running toilets, torn vinyl flooring and damaged carpet instantly make a bad impression on
buyers. Put your money into those first and use what’s left to make larger improvements.

Boost curb appeal - It comes as no surprise that exterior home improvement projects rank as the most cost effective, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs Value Report. It ranks projects based on their cost and how much money they recoup after selling.

96 percent – Replace a wooden front door with a steel security door
87 percent – Add a new deck
78 percent – Replace siding
78 percent – Install a new garage door
78 percent – Install new windows
84 percent – Convert an attic to a bed and bath
82 percent – Minor kitchen remodel
77 percent – Basement renovation

If you are thinking of selling down the road these will give you the best return on your investment.

The Fall Market

Real estate sales decided not to take a breather this fall. September saw more units sold than August and was up a whopping 36% over last year at this time. Fewer listings also came on stream comparing to
August and now the active inventory is only 3,537 compared to 4,232 in September last year. Granted, over 3,500 listings is still quite a number! Offering a good selection in most locations and buyer price ranges, but we are seeing prices moving upwards at a rate of about 8% so far this year on
average for a single family home in the greater Kelowna area. Condos are not quite as strong as they are up only about 4% in price, but they do lead the way with the most activity in residential sales by quite a bit. thereby reducing the one time glut of overbuilt condos for sale.
The way October has started off, it appears this active fall market will continue yet for a while, but how long? Only time will tell. Resource rich Alberta shows no signs of slowing down and that is always a good indicator as to how the Okanagan market will go. Combine the ongoing low interest rates with the buyer demand, from both local and out of province buyers, and a very good selection of product, we will likely see the strongest fall market we have seen since 2007 but without the same high prices. This coming winter will be very interesting to watch and predict.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Upgrades You Probably Not See Your full Investment Returned.

Some renovation upgrades such as your kitchens and bathrooms are usually fairly reliable for adding to a home’s resale value. Then there are others that are just not worth doing.  If you are selling you probably are asking yourself what’s worth the cost and what isn’t?
Here are some renovation that least likely to return their full investment or close to it when you sell, or may even turn buyers off.

Wall-to-wall broadloom
Once considered a selling feature, this is now a liability in many buyers eyes. Broadloom is incompatible with pets, people with allergies, and is perceived as hard to clean. If you have hardwood floors, have them refinished or consider installing them if you don’t. Or just leave as is and let the buyer decide what they want to put in.

Whirlpool baths, saunas and indoor hot tubs
They use to be chic, they are now often seen as just expensive, energy-guzzling extras. Seems most people want to have the nice showers.

Built-in sound systems and home theatres
Some buyers will be attracted to this, but not everyone, nor will they pay a premium for a house with this feature.

Colorful bath fixtures
You may like it but chances are the buyer will just see them as a renovation to-do and will plan to get rid of them after the purchase.

Ornate chandeliers, wallpaper and paint treatments
Taste is very individual and idiosyncratic decorating can turn buyers off, stick with neutral, simple decor.

Overly fancy appliances
Stainless steel-finish appliances are worth paying a few more dollars for (compared to the equivalent of white or colored models), but six-burner professional stoves, double dishwashers or a huge fridge rarely will recoup their initial cost.

Cheap laminate or vinyl tile flooring
There are some types of laminate that are attractive and practical; others just look cheap and fake. Especially avoid peel-and-stick vinyl tiles or be prepared to replace them when you put the house on the market. For not much more money, choose  hardwood, stone, bamboo or cork.

Swimming pool
There is some debate among Realtors that it is a selling feature. But a pool rarely recoups its entire cost, and it will reduce the number of  buyers interested in your home.

Turning a three-bedroom into a two-bedroom home

Even if that third bedroom is minuscule, it’s still a bedroom! No matter how spacious your newly enlarged master bedroom or that new spa bath, the demand for two-bedroom homes is significantly smaller than for three-bedrooms, and they command considerably lower prices.

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Best Upgrades for Resale.

If you are getting your home ready to sell there are definitely some upgrades that are worth their costs in helping to attract more buyers, sell your home (hopefully) faster, make back most (or all) of your investment, or even increase the value of your home.


A state of the art kitchen is one of the most popular renovations for earning back most, if not all, of its money. Even if you don't fully gut and renovate, certain upgrades --granite counters, hardwood or high-end tile floors, premium appliances (especially stainless steel), islands and undermount sinks  will attract attention and can increase the value.

Hardwood floors
Especially on the main floor, hardwood is perennially popular with buyers. If your floors are refinished but worn, have them lightly sanded and resealed  or if they're very beaten up consider replacing them.

Premium broadloom
Broadloom is popular too (especially for bedrooms) but only if in top condition. If it's worn, soiled or out of style, replace it with something more contemporary. Neutral, lightly textured weaves such as wool “sisal” are in fashion right now.

Master ensuite

If your ensuite is tired, it's worth upgrading, especially if you can afford a few luxuries such as a whirlpool or air jet tub, separate shower with a rainshower head, double sinks and/or heated floors. If you don't have an ensuite, perhaps you can add one by stealing space from the master bedroom or a room next to it.

Radiator covers
If you live in an older home it can be simple carpentry job, but makes almost any older home seem more gracious.

Upgraded lighting
Old-fashioned track lighting can be easily replaced with more contemporary styles such as smaller cans or halogen track lights. Replace dingy overhead lighting with chandeliers (vintage or modern), or install them in rooms that don't have any.

A finished basement
After kitchens and bathrooms, a stylishly finished basement is high on many buyers' wish lists.

A well-maintained garden with attractive plantings, hardscaping such as brick or flagstone, and special features such as urns or paths, add an elegant look to even a smaller home.

Front porch
If you can, add a full front porch (or replace/repair the one you have if it isn't in good condition) if not, a portico (a smaller porch that shelters the front door) can be a worthy substitute. Or add a deck or patio in the back.

Adding a bedroom
A four-bedroom house will demand a higher price than a three-bedroom, even if they're both the same size. Consider dividing a large bedroom into two small ones (as long as they're not too small, or it can have the opposite effect) or consider converting an upstairs den or sitting room.

Huge Reduction from $769,000.00 to $729,000.00

Executive Rancher with a Walk Out Basement. Panoramic view of mountains. 10'-14' ceilings, pillars, beams, 4 bed/3bath, cul de sac, inground POOL, quality finishing, prestigious Dilworth Mountain Estates location, In-law suite. OUTSTANDING home for this price! Call Steve Higgins RE/MAX Kelowna for private viewing. 250-864-7893

Traders Cove Reduced to $435,000.00

Can you imagine living in a home with these Incredible Views? Awesome entertaining Deck Overlooking Lake Okanagan and City of Kelowna. Very nice 3 Bedroom plus a walk out Basement currently rented as a suite. New Ikea Kitchen with Island, maple hardwood and Stone Fireplace. Many updates. This is an awesome opportunity to live by the lake within minutes of Kelowna. Must include Addendum A with all offers. As is where is. For viewing please call Steve Higgins RE/MAX Kelowna 250.864.7893

Friday, 12 September 2014

August Market Report.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) has reported that a total of 7,341 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in August, were up 7 per cent from August 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $4.1 billion, an increase of 12.4 per cent compared to August 2013. The average MLS residential price in the province rose to $560,318, up 5 per cent from the same month last year. Consumer demand remained relatively busy in August.

The Okanagan and Chilliwack board areas posted the strongest year-over-year gain of 22 to 25 per cent in unit sales, while Victoria and Vancouver increase was lower around 10 per cent. Home sales last month were the highest for the month of August since 2009. With low mortgage rates, increased net-migration and improving economic conditions continue to drive housing demand in the province. Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 22.8 per cent to $28.5 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 15.8 per cent to 57,715 units, while the average MLS residential price was up 6.1 per cent at $564,466.

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