Welcome back to my brief overview of the….I didn’t round any numbers up or down this time in hopes of making it look that much more credible. Comments welcome.
There were a few days last month when it seemed we were all worrying about the stock market again and contraction in the Chinese economy, but that seemed to end quickly. They don’t teach you in real estate school how to handle customers being nervous over events we have no control over. Don’t mistake me, we all know what to say and most adults who follow current events have thoughtful opinions on Chinese exports, the Canadian federal election, price of gasoline, Syrian refugees, value of the loonie and BC forest fires. Just the fact though that these things get brought up at a kitchen table during a counter offer usually isn’t good news and it decreases the odds a little of successfully crossing the finish line with a sold sticker on someone’s front lawn.
Talk about a housing bubble is another frightening topic that makes buyers want to hide under the covers. Realtors can produce graphs, data and evidence that market conditions are strong but the “B” word worries the heck out of people and sometimes no amount of hand-holding will be enough to convince them otherwise. The Toronto waterfront condo market may or may not be overvalued, but a national news story focusing on foreclosure numbers three time zones away is enough to give some people here cause for concern.
Kelowna 2015 Home Sales Market
Here’s Kelowna’s 2015 version of a housing market correction. Through August 31st of this year, the average residential sale price of a home was $544,214 compared to $545,782 in 2014. Hmmmm. We’re now in the Fall market, so there’s enough data lying around this year to suggest that’s it’s been robust. 2,201 homes have sold so far this year compared to 1969 homes at this point last year. And last year was a good year! Down deep inside none of us really know what’s going to happen to the Kelowna housing sector but it’s certainly easier these days to make the argument that prices are too low instead of too high. Ten years ago when people were worried about that same elusive housing bubble the average price here for a home was $346,300.
Good, news for the condo market. 768 sales so far this year compared to 681 this time in 2014. Prices are up a bit too from $251,490 to $262,474. Judging by anyone’s looking-around-and-noticing-stuff analysis, there are a lot of new condo projects around town and an even stronger argument can be made that our resale market is undervalued even more than the residential market.