We recorded 107 residential sales in December 2018 and 46 apartment sales. These numbers are down significantly from December 2017 when we recorded 73 apartment sales and 185 residential sales. This is similar to the annual numbers where residential sales dropped to 2,367 in 2018 from 3,012 the previous year. There’s no need to sugarcoat things, last year was grim on the unit sales front.
Prices went up though. The 2018 average residential sale price was 762,000 compared to $716,000 in 2017. Apartments went up from 332,000 to $347,000 year to year.
There were only 20 residential foreclosures brought to market last year and only 6 on the market today. There were 224 foreclosures brought to market in 2012, 177 in 2013 and 140 in 2014. This segment of the marketplace has mercifully all but disappeared for various reasons.
So, if you predicted 2018 was going to be a good year, you get partial marks. Prices did increase, and most homeowners have equity built up. The doom and bloomers can take a partial victory lap also with the significant drop in unit sales. It’s become harder and takes longer to sell a home in Kelowna in terms of most things measurable. On top of everything, during these times buyers, especially out of town buyers, mistakenly believe sellers will drop from their asking prices more than the customary 2%.
I think we will continue to close the gap between the number of strata sales compared to residential. Last year there were 2,267 residential sales compared to 2,004 strata units sold. Numbers from new construction aren’t counted here so the real number is closer than what our MLS reports. The high price of land is forcing most first-time buyers into condominiums and out of town buyers will always want to own a piece of the Okanagan.
Unit sales will increase this year. They always do. Last year’s numbers were just too low for a community our size. Babies are still being born, people are still taking higher jobs in other communities, couples are still marrying and divorcing, and kids are growing up and moving out. We’re still a blue-chip housing destination and this will never change.
Thank you for reading and Happy New Year.