2015 saw, Kelowna real-estate agents generate 3042 residential sales. That’s residential houses as to strata condominiums. That’s up very significantly from 2014 when we generated just under 2800 sales. The 250 unit increase in sales was certainly a surprise to everybody considering the dropping resource prices that we all experienced last year. The average house sale price for 2015 was $551,000 for residential homes which is up from the $542,000 sale price for 2014. That represents an approximately 2% increase in home sales, which really isn’t bad, considering a lot of experts who were predicting that things were going to go the other way.

 

In regards to strata in 2015, there were 1174 unit sales compared to 1027 the previous year. So in other words, the same story as residential. That’s up approximately 9% over the previous year. The average price last year was $259,000, compared to $243,000. That is approximately a six percent increase in prices for condos over a year. It wasn’t suppose to happen because the big story of the year was the oil dropping, and the impact that it was going to have on our housing market, and Kelowna people were just kind a little bit nervous waiting for something really bad to happen, but it didn’t. There was no argument there were a fewer Albertans here last year buying our houses but it turned out that it was more than outset by the number of people from the coast, people from and people from Vancouver Island who decided to unplug themselves from that community. They are equity rich and perhaps a $500,000 a home sale price doesn’t have the sticker shock that a lot of other people have.

The other major impact that we was the decline in the Canadian dollar or the strengthening of the US dollar. Ten, nine, eight years ago, a lot of people decided to invest in American condos. The American housing market specifically in Arizona, California and Hawaii. What’s happened since then is the value of those houses have gone up, and the value of the American dollar has increased relative to the Canadian dollar. So now maybe eight to ten years later a lot of those buyers are looking for a change. Many sell their USA vacation homes and come back to places like the Okanagan. These people sell out and move back to Canada without the hassle of borders, increased health insurance and IRS filings. Many Canadian buyers who invested in the USA are saying “yeah we made some money but it’s time to cash out”.

Andrew Smith 6:40 pm