Hidden Real Estate Costs that 90% of home buyers and sellers do not know about.
Do you believe that the price attached to a property listing is the ultimate cost? You are not alone, many sellers and buyers hold the same belief.
Every time a property is handed over from one owner to another, it attracts quite a number of costs and fees. Some will run into thousands of dollars. The final price, whether you are selling your old home or buying a new one, will be inclusive of all these costs.
Speaking to reputable real estate lawyers around BC, we came up with a number of home buying and selling costs you never knew about.
Costs for buyers
Title insurance: it is not mandatory you get insurance for your property. However, you will need it to beat the widespread real estate fraud and identity theft. For a home valued at $450,000, a few hundreds of dollars will be adequate.
Legal expenses: you will need a real estate lawyer to help you process the required documents. You will be expected to part with 1% of the buying price or a maximum flat figure of $1,200, and GST plus disbursement cost.
Transfer tax: in BC there is a property transfer tax. The rate is 1% on the first $100,000 and 2% on the balance of the purchase price. You will see this in the statement of adjustments from your lawyer or notary. The progressive levy is a fraction of the total purchase price.
Mortgage cost: a good number of banks do not charge any fee on their mortgage offers. You had better confirm with your bank. However, if you will be getting at least 80% of the home price from mortgage, you will have to obtain insurance with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Adjustment costs: apart from property taxes, the rest of the expenses in this list are utility bills.
Costs for seller
Legal fees: just like the buyer, the seller will need legal counsel to ensure everything is done within the provisions of the property law. Legal fees are approximately $1,200 exclusive of GST depending on the complexity of the purchase or sale. Usually, the lawyers charge less for a sellers transaction.
Real estate agent commission: while many sellers know that they pay a realtors commission. Both realtors will split a commission that is calculated by the total sale price.
Mortgage discharge: selling your home before your mortgage matures is a big financial risk. It will attract penalties and a discharge fee. On average, you can pay up to 3 months of your mortgage installments in penalties. The discharge fee lies between $200 and $300. However, you can get a waiver of these penalties and discharge fee if you transfer your old mortgage to the home you just bought.
Did you know about these costs? If you know anyone thinking of buying or selling please share this information
Please feel welcome to contact me with any questions
Living in Kelowna, Andrew Smith Royal LePage Kelowna
Typically, fall and spring are the prime seasons to sell your house. But not out of your choosing, you may find yourself selling your home during winter. The truth be told, the cold season is not ideal for selling your home. Many people are out for holidays while others are holed up in their homes busy with holiday decorations.
. You need to have a brave strategy to sell your home during fall. That said, these 10 tips could be what you need to sell your home fast and for the right price during the fall season.
Create attraction to the garden with structural elements
It is wintertime and a blooming garden is the rarest thing you could expect. But that does not mean you should leave your garden in a “who-cares” state. A few structural elements would be in order to woo a would-be homebuyer. Clear-cut landscaping, rock-decorated walls, a large planter here and an urn over there would catch an eye for someone looking to buy a home with an outdoor garden.
Optimize on spaces that will be a real catch during fall
Areas for exercise, heated tool sheds, and basement play spaces will form a great attraction during the cold season. Have these spaces clean, cleared of any clutter and packed with relevant stuff. Make sure your guests will pass by these spaces and maybe it will inform their final decision to buy your home.
Take it easy with the scents
Surprisingly, many people are allergic to some scents. Do not spray any perfume in your rooms or even burn candles. Do not even think of plugging in the air freshener. You do not want a disappointed buyer to storm out of your house the same moment they set a foot in your living room.
Do not forget to brighten up the outdoor space
If you have an outdoor fireplace or a roof-covered porch, keep it furnished to make it livable even at the dead of the cold weather. Keep the lights on and the fire burning to strike some interest in a prospective buyer who would love some outdoor break without having to leave the house.
Emphasize on your home’s possibilities to entertain
It is time for festivities and you would do just fine underscoring the entertaining possibilities your home has to offer a potential buyer. Stack a set of plates on the dining table with a wreath of fresh flowers at one corner. If you can bake some cookies, have them displayed on the kitchen stand. Don’t they say the best way to get to a man’s heart is through his stomach? Whet your guest’s appetite and you might find yourself a buyer.
Serve fall foods during the showings
When bidders come calling to your home, you had better have a strategy to hold on to them for long. Muffins, cookies or any other foods that can be easily popped into the mouth should be out of the list.
For beverages, a cup of cocoa or apple cider should keep your guests longer. All you want is for them to see some of the elements of your home they would otherwise miss if they had to leave in a hurry. The longer you can hold onto them, the more they appreciate some aspects of your home.
To light a fire or not? It depends
It is winter and the temptation if a crackling fire is one you or even your guests would not mind. But do not be in such a hurry to light a fire when selling your home during winter. If you have a wooden stove that burns clean or a gas fireplace, light up the fire and give your guests a warm welcome. However, if your home uses the conventional wooden fireplace, you are better off without the fire. Find a creative way to keep your guests warm. A hot cup of coffee would be more than welcome.
Keep your home easily accessible
Snow and ice can really mess up your home paths and the parking area. However, the last thing you would want your home bidders to notice is an ice-filled driveway and snow-packed paths into and around your home. Take your time to clear all the pathways and the parking lot. Let it be easy for your guests to walk around your house inspecting whether it is to their liking. Even before they get to see your house, you will have earned some impression marks with ease of access.
Make your home more inviting with holiday decors
It is holiday time and it would do no harm to add a little holiday décor to go with the mood. A potential buyer would have a clear vision of what it would be living in this house during the holiday season. An appropriately decorated Christmas tree or colorful wreath would be adequate to send the right message.
However, you should be moderate with the decorations. Going overboard with your holiday decorations would turn out to be real turn off.
Light it up
It is a gloomy weather out there. But you can take advantage of that by creating a stark contrast in your rooms. Let light dominate every corner of your house. Have the window drapes pushed back, all the blinds pulled up and all shutters open. Turn all the light in your house including the closet and appliance lights. For the dark rooms with few windows, place spotlights on the floor and behind furniture. To add onto the serenity, turn off the TV set, computer, and speakers.
Who said you could not sell your house in winter? They must not have read this. Now you know better and you can outsmart the cold weather any day you want to sell your home. Arm yourself with this easy-to-follow tips and you will be surprised how fast you can sell your property even in the middle of the cold months.
There are 1,258 residential homes for sale in Kelowna in addition to 645 apartment condos. We’ve recorded 2,138 residential home sales so far this year at an average sale price of $705,000. We’re in a balanced market with 4.7 months of supply available based on 267 sales per month. Last year at this time the average sale price for the year was $630,000 and we recorded 2,748 sales.
Comparing 2017 to 2016
August 2017 saw our MLS system record 261 sales at $719,000 compared to August 2016 when we recorded 349 sales at an average price of $681,000. To sum up, year-to-date, prices are up 12% and unit sales are down 22% over last year.
Is this good or bad? Will the trend of fewer sales with higher prices continue? What can we expect during the Fall/Winter markets? Yes, it’s certainly good if you’re already here watching your equity grow without doing much other than mowing your lawn and replacing your furnace filter. Not so good for first time buyers or those moving here with normal jobs/income looking at jaw dropping mortgage payments. Notwithstanding slowly rising mortgage rates, the trend of higher prices is all but a certainty but the number of homes sold is a bit of a puzzle and open for debate. Mortgage rates are the scary monsters hiding under the bed and they can put the brakes on even the most robust housing markets.
Weather Plays a Part
A terrible year for floods and fires have certainly had an impact on our housing and insurance markets but the in-town move-up buyer seems to be taking a long, hard sober look at the housing landscape and isn’t biting like he used to. They’re letting the kids share a bedroom for another year or two instead of taking on $200,000 more debt. The unprecedented construction we see throughout the city will ease some of the pressure on prices with the creation of more units for sale but I don’t think it will be enough to slow down prices.
Living in Kelowna,
Royal LePage Kelowna
The high end buyer is playing a significant role in Kelowna’s housing market and it’s playing havoc with our averages. Over the first half of 2017 there were 164 homes that sold over $1 million which represented 10.5% of the total homes sold (1,561). Compare and contrast to only five years ago when the million dollar plus home sales represented 2.8% of the overall market. Going back even further, ten years ago the million dollar plus market was 1.2% of the overall market.
So what happened? Is this a good thing for our community? Will it continue? I remember a time when a million dollar home was talked about in our office with people curious about who the buyer was and even more curious about the home. These days, although a million dollar home sale is still a lot of money and the home is likely going to be nice, it doesn’t have the same impact as it once did. With 164 of these homes selling so far this year, it’s pushed our average sale price to over $700,000 making it unrealistic for local first time buyers to enter the marketplace in a detached house, and oftentimes even unrealistic for them to gain entry into the market with even a condo unless they have significant help from a parent.
This trend will surely continue indefinitely as prices in the rest of Canada continue to rise and equity rich buyers from other parts of the country either relocate here for employment or retire. There will be bumps and bruises along the way as interest rates and energy prices impact housing prices in Kelowna but the trend is upward and there doesn’t seem to be any slowdown on the horizon.
Let’s start June Market Update this time with apartments in Kelowna. There are currently 303 apartments for sale including 150 which allow rentals. 65 of these are currently vacant and unoccupied. Prices range from the mid $150s for a one bedroom in Rutland and seven condos are priced over $1 million. There are 60, two bedroom/two bathroom units for sale priced under $300,000 which isn’t a healthy supply of affordable housing but first time buyers do have some choices.
Total Detached Homes For Sale
As for detached houses there are 1,041 for sale today. This number isn’t big enough especially in the lower end of the market. Looking at homes priced under $500,000 there are 25 in Rutland, 4 in Glenmore, 2 in Lower Mission and 7 in Glenmore. Inventory is certainly low for people looking to move into a detached house but although there are few choices, at least there are some.
SOLDS. There have been 672 apartment sales so far this year at an average sale price of 345,000. This is up from the 611 sales recorded at this time in 2016 when the average price was just above $300,000. The condo market is certainly healthy and is likely due to the influx of first time buyers who are priced out of the detached housing market.
Prices UP -Number of Sales DOWN
Speaking of the detached housing market, there are two interesting numbers to look at. The number of homes selling is down considerably from this time last year while prices are way up. There were 1,687 homes that sold this time in 2016 compared to 1,292 this year. The average price last year at this point was $621,000 and it’s since risen to $705,000. A lot of people in Kelowna are hesitant to make the 2nd or 3rd move up purchase these days because of the lack of choices and intimidating prices and are putting off a move for the time being. The high end home buyer who typically is from the coast or from out of province is still active pushing up prices. I imagine next quarter’s sales numbers will continue the downward trend due to people having difficulty securing insurance while the lake rises but prices likely won’t dip.
Living in Kelowna,
Royal LePage Kelowna
Small or big, house Top renovations Tips not only help improve your home’s curb appeal and market value but also contributes significantly to how quickly you find the right buyer for the same. While they may seem negligible, house renovations such as installing new light fittings, plumbing fixtures, a new roof, or even a new room can be the difference between selling the house fast and waiting for months. A few important factors (such as budget, the condition of the home, neighborhood, etc.) have to be considered before taking on any renovation project. Discussed below are a few renovation tips and tricks to help give your home a facelift and a better resale value.
1. Work on the Kitchen
The kitchen is among the most important rooms in every home, and a key selling point for most homes. Ensuring the kitchen is in its top condition by giving it a facelift, replacing old appliances with new advanced ones, and even investing in a good countertop can do wonders to the house. If possible, consider adding built-in rubbish bins, proper lighting, water filters, and most importantly, practical kitchen cabinetry. Most new homeowners want a fully functional kitchen work hard to give them just that.
Stained or worn carpets can turn off a prospective buyer quickly. Contact a reputable cleaning company and ask for a quote and if they feel they can get the stains removed and will the carpets look refreshed? If the carpets are worn call a Kelowna Carpet Store and get a quote on having the carpeting replaced before showing your home.
3. The Bathroom
The bathroom too needs to be practical and in the best condition possible. If your budget allows it, consider adding a second toilet it is becoming a ‘thing’ these days. Aside from the additional toilet, consider installing new fixtures, lighting, faucets, drawers, eco-friendly shower heads, and even replace the toilet seat. You could even consider adding new large mirrors, a bathtub, and even beautiful but anti-slip tiles in the kitchen as well. Make sure the water heater or the instant shower is working correctly.
No one wants to live in or buy a poorly insulated house. For this reason, have the house inspected for air leaks among other factors that lead to heat loss or gain. The type of insulation installed in the house can also make or break the deal. Having an expert inspect the home for air leakage (using special thermal detectors) can help identify any leaks and have the same sealed. Your doors and windows may also contribute to heat gain or loss. If possible, invest in double or triple glazing to minimize heat loss in the house. You will be surprised how fast the house will sell if these are present.
5. The Roof
Although most roofs last a lifetime, having the roof inspected for broken or missing shingles, leakages, etc., is recommended as well. If some of the shingles need replacing, have an expert work on that. Investing in an entirely new roof can be quite expensive especially if relocating to another place. Having a roofing expert handle all the repairs needed would be the wise move at this point.
6. Improve Curb Appeal
First impressions matter a lot when selling a house. This is the reason why you need to improve your home’s curb appeal by either repainting the entire house, working on the driveway, the backyard, and the garden (if any) too. If no repainting is required, then work on creating more space by decluttering, blowing cobwebs off, and ensuring the garage door is in perfect condition.
Do not under estimate the value of decluttering before putting your home on the market. Remove all Junk and clutter from the home, garage and yard. Having a disposal bin dropped off at your home while you are discarding of debrie will help make your renovation a lot smoother. Kelowna Junk Removal with AG Roy Disposal can make the preparation of a home sale alot simpler. Have the contain dropped off at the beginning of your renovation and picked up when you are finished.
These are just but a few ways that anyone can use to improve his/her homes curb appeal, functionality, and resale value. As mentioned earlier, your budget will determine how much renovations can be done. It would also be a wise idea to hire a professional contractor to handle the repairs.
If you are thinking of selling, call for our free no obligation market evaluation and we can give you suggestions on renovation tips that will increase the value of your home.
MLS listing count in the Kelowna British Columbia topped 1,000 recently
……………and the current total reads 1,057 residential homes for sale in all price ranges. Let’s take a look how it breaks down…
512 priced under $800,000, 545 priced over $800,000.
48 priced under $400,000, 61 are priced over $3,000,000
122 priced under $500,000, 129 are priced over $2,000,000
245 priced under $600,000
812 priced over $600,000
255 homes for sale have suites
8 in foreclosure
111 are vacant, 129 are tenant occupied.
How is this impacting sales in Kelowna MLS?
Glad you asked. First of all, those who predicted a year similar to last year can go sit in the corner and take a few moments to rethink things. Every single one of those numbers above needs to be higher (except foreclosures). There just aren’t enough homes for sale especially in the lower end of the market and first-time buyers continue to get beat up. This time last year we recorded 1,420 residential sales at an average sale price of $596,000. So far this year we’ve recorded 1,118 sales at an average sale price of $671,000Unit sales are down 21% compared to this time last year and prices are up 12.5%. Unless the number of affordably priced homes increases as the year progresses, this trend of dwindling sales will continue and we will likely see prices continue to rise. All bets are off though if mother nature steps in and puts a stick in the bicycle spokes with the 1 in 200 year flood we’re all hoping doesn’t come. Things will be interesting through the end of June as the lake continues to slowly rise as snow melts from higher elevations and this could slow things down for us especially areas in low-lying elevations. Stay tuned.
91 residential homes listed for sale and 46 apartments bringing the total number of apartments up to 302 for sale and 782 residential houses. There were 70 residential sales last week with an average sale price just slightly above $600,000. There were 29 apartment sales this past week.
So this is a little encouraging. Not very, but a little. I guess this is going to be the market we’re going to have to become accustomed because there doesn’t seem to be any changes coming our way. Prices appear to have stabilized despite high demand/low supply which I think is healthy for a sustainable housing market where average wage earners can still live here (barely) and young people aren’t running for exits.
Condo sales are outpacing last year’s torrid pace 150 to 141 while residential is behind a bit with 294 sales this year compared to 302 this time last year. In other words it’s almost a carbon copy of last year and despite tougher mortgage financing rules impacting buyers, we’re doing as well as we did last year. I don’t think things will change too much as the year progresses.
Planning on moving to Kelowna BC? Working with an experienced Realtor will greatly increase your chances of finding the perfect home before it has an offer on it. Whether it is a house or a condo, we make your search a priority and will update you daily on new listings and prelisted properties so you stay ahead of the market.
Watch for my weekly market updates posted here, or call me to find out what is happening in your favourite neighbourhood.
There are 778 residential homes on the market right now including 123 priced under $500,000. Right now there are more housing prices in Kelowna over $800,000 (392) than below (387). Problem, what problem? The average sale price for a home in Canada this past January was $470,000 according the Canadian Real Estate Association. The average sale price in Kelowna for the same month was $649,000. Kelowna has always been pricier than the rest of Canada when it comes to housing prices, at least it has since I’ve been tracking it, but the gap in terms of real dollars has never been as wide as it is right now. Reason to worry? Yes if you’re a buyer looking to get into this market based on a down payment and qualifying for a mortgage. Yes if you’re a pensioner or fixed wage earner having to stare down a property tax bill later this Summer. Yes if you’re moving here from places other than Southern Vancouver Island, Vancouver’s Lower Mainland or Toronto. No if you already live here and have been chipping away at a mortgage for a long time.
Why are our prices are high?
I haven’t heard of anyone from here investing in Arizona, California or Hawaii revenue properties in a long time. At some point, The Okanagan became fashionable again in large part to the weakness of our dollar and the recovery of the housing market in those places. There are other reasons of course, including the hassle of crossing the border, medical costs and tax implications. Regardless, it’s good to have those people back.
The Rental Market
Contact us if you want advice on how to screen a potential tenant. Most people aren’t good at asking qualifying questions to potential but we’ll send you a list and offer advice on how to screen your applicants. The best insider tip is to make an excuse to drop by an applicant’s current residence just to see how currently maintain their own or someone else’s home.
There are 320 condo apartments for sale in Kelowna right now. There were 83 sales in February at an average of $333,000. A year ago there were 80 sales for the month at an average sale price of $313,000. Buying a condo in this city is getting tougher as fewer and fewer places are allowing dogs/cats/rentals/smokers etc. The condo market is fairly balanced with four months’ of supply available so we shouldn’t expect prices to climb much more throughout the year.
For an update on the value of your Kelowna property please contact me by phone or email Regards,
The market has been active in all price ranges for the start of 2017. There were 31 residential homes that sold last week in Kelowna ranging from a low of $335,000 for a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom starter home in Glenmore up to another home that sold for just under $6,000,000 for a lakeshore home deep in the Mission. We see the market continuing on this route for awhile with a low number of properties listed on the market for sale and buyers looking to buy it creates a sellers market. Homes that are well priced will receive offers the first week that they are listed.
There were 58 new listing brought to market last week which is a reasonable number for this time of the year. This brings the number of homes for sale right now up to 753 which isn’t a reasonable number. Home owners who have been thinking of selling this is a golden opportunity to fill a void in the market and sell your home in a reasonable amount of time.
Still too early to even begin discussing averages or even touching on emerging trends but every single one of these 58 homes will generate clicks-drivebys-showings and if they’re priced reasonably well, they’ll get offers.
Kelowna Real Estate Market 2017
Since it’s that time of year, this is as good a time as any to give a mention or two to Big White ski resort. It really is one of the best things going during the winter here in Kelowna. There are 55 properties for sale including two priced at $99,900. Affordable investments and easy to rent during the times it’s not being used would make it pay for itself immediately. At the other end of the spectrum there are four homes priced over $1 million and all are over 4,000 square feet. Then, fifty or so priced in the middle. There have been about 60 units sold over the past month so the market up there is reasonable balanced.
A sign of a healthy economy is that there are only six residential foreclosures in Kelowna right now. There used to be 180 so this is a pretty good sign that things are going well here. The number of affordable homes for sale continues to be an ongoing problem that isn’t going away anytime soon. This might be a permanent problem with no real solution. There are ten bi-level homes for sale in Rutland or Glenrosa built in the 1970s with a median asking price of just over $400,000. Normally there would be about 40-50 1970s bi-levels for sale so inventory is clearly drying up.
Glass half full….There’s still ten for sale and these places all get you into a market that isn’t going anywhere but up.
Glass-half empty… That’s a lot of borrowed mortgage money for any first time purchaser.
345 Kelowna Homes Sor Sale Asking $500,000 to $800,000
Overall there are 1,023 residential freehold homes for sale in all areas of Kelowna. There are 185 homes priced under $500,000, 345 homes between $500,000 and $800,000 and 500 more priced over $800,000. We all wish there were more homes for sale, especially purchasers who used to have a problem of too much choice. There are 92 homes for sale in Rutland, 55 for sale downtown and 27 in Glenrosa. There are 80 homes for sale on the lake, 100 homes in town for sale are vacant and 278 have suites.
As far as sales go things are still rolling along. Last week we generated 87 residential sales. The average sale price last week was $657,000 which was high due to 8 homes selling last week over $1 million. The average sale price year-to-date is $621,000.
Thanks for reading. Drop me an email if you want to see a breakdown on condos or lots in the area.
Should a prudent, price conscious home buyer be looking at investing in Kelowna’s housing market these days or should he be sitting this one out and renting until things cool off and prices come back down to earth?
Is Kelowna In A Housing Bubble?
I don’t think there’s any argument that the housing market in Kelowna has been insane this year. Multiple offer stories don’t even warrant a real estate office lunch room conversation anymore and homes are sometimes sold before hitting MLS. It’s really difficult to schedule a home inspection unless a lot of notice is given and real estate lawyers are busier than they’ve ever been. Sellers are tougher to negotiate with and aren’t moving much from their asking prices if they’re even moving at all. You get the picture. The numbers reflect this…
Average Housing Sale Price $616,000
There have been 1,910 residential sales so far this year at an average sale price of $616,000 compared to 1,500 sales year-to-date last year at an average sale price of $541,000. That’s a 27% increase in unit sales and a 13.8% increase in prices. Can this continue indefinitely? Is an average sale price over $600,000 the new normal? Will prices fall once this bubble we read about bursts? Can a community like ours with an average household income under $60,000 support even higher prices? I’ll submit that the answers are Yes, Yes, No, Yes.
Let’s take a look at the above questions in a historical sense. Not really historical in terms of when Orchard Park Mall was a farm but let’s look back to 1996 only because that’s when I moved here. The year ending in 1996 was kind of dismal and lackluster but so was 1995 so it wasn’t an anomaly. The average selling price was $176,000 and that could buy you a newer grade level entry home in North Glenmore or a 1970s era bi-level in the Mission. Ten years later prices jumped to $419,000. That 1996-2006 period saw a jaw dropping price increase of 138% despite losing our biggest private employer and a forest fire that we still talk about. People from away discovered us and they haven’t stopped coming. Even with the numbers jumping into the stratosphere this year, the 2006-2016 period saw housing jump a conservative 47%. If anything there’s a strong argument that Kelowna might still be undervalued.
There’s no housing bubble. Full stop.
Most people don’t like buying in this market I get the skepticism from potential buyers when the see what little you can get for $400,000 but I can’t see things going back to the way they were, way way wayback in December of 2015. There are just too many people who live in other parts of the country who’ve wanted to live here for some time, and now seems to be the time. These people aren’t flinching at new homes in Winfield with asking prices in the $700s and they all have like-minded friends with the same dreams of living in a place like ours.
Thanks for reading. Please follow me on Twitter at @smithap01 or visit my website at www.okanaganbc.com
Save. Then save some more.
There are 1,114 residential freehold homes for sale in Kelowna. Pretty big number I suppose if you’re thinking of buying a home in our town but once you look things a little closer you might break out into cold sweat when you this number broken down.
Buying a Home In Kelowna
Number of homes for sale under $500,000 277
Number of homes for sale over $500,000 838
Shouldn’t these number be reversed?
Even worse, Number of homes for sale over $1,000,000 is 341. Remember, the median household income in Kelowna is $64,900 and the average sale price so far this year is $596,000. The larger of these two numbers is certainly increasing at a rate faster than little number. This is a problem that really has no solution as far as I can tell and the rigid laws of supply and demand mean most of our young people just won’t live here after they graduate and we’ll be left with equity rich Vancouver transplants and two week on/off oil patch workers. Please don’t misunderstand, I LOVE equity rich Vancouver people and the impact they’re having on our city especially the new fancy strip malls with yoga studios, sushi bars, Naturopaths and $6 coffee shops we see around town nowadays. And, we all know Albertans have been the driving engine behind our real estate industry for as long as I’ve lived here and we love those guys too. The issue is that we pushed first time buyers into condos about ten years ago and now we’re asking them to live in even smaller condos. At some point they’re going shrug their collective shoulders and say no thanks and the entire town will look like the Capri mall on senior’s day. Search for Homes here
Good News For Home Sellers
The news isn’t all grim. Sellers are certainly happy knowing that if they price their homes properly they’ll be able to sell it in a reasonable time frame for top dollar and the really high end home buyer has a lot choice and time is on his side. I think the fact remains that we’re a blue chip city with a zillion fun things to do and as the west continues to populate, people with choices will pick the Okanagan as the place they want to hang their hats.
Kelowna housing results for March totaled 338 residential sales during the month with an average sale price of $573,000. The average market time for homes sold last month was only 59 days. In other words, it was a strong month and things are looking good for the rest of the Spring and Summer. Inventory of homes available for purchasers will become more of a problem especially under $500,000 but well priced homes are selling quickly and buyers have to be on the ball.
Kelowna Housing Sales For March 2016
Compare and contrast this to March 2015 when there were 276 residential sales at an average sale price of $515,000. Everyone considered March of 2015 to be a good month and this March will generate the same reaction. Always remember that sales data for a single month doesn’t mean anything especially when the number are as off-the-charts as they are now but there certainly is upward pressure on prices overall.
Year to date we’ve generated 660 residential home sales at an average price of $570,000. The same quarter for 2015 saw 580 residential sales for $519,000. As a rule of thumb, I always feel pretty good about the Kelowna real estate market when we’re able to show an average of 200 residential sales per month which we’ve done and we have the six strongest months ahead of us.
There were 205 residential over the first quarter of 2015 at an average sale price of $253,000. There were 284 apartment sales this year so far selling for an average of $283,000. An extra 80 condo sales is certainly more than a blip so the condo apartment market is roaring along just fine also. The $30,000 average sale price increase is eye popping as well. We all knew the condo market would roar back to life after being dormant for so long but we still have a lot of inventory available in the segment of the market. First time and last time buyers need not panic as there are still a lot of condo units to see.
It’s been a wonderful, long hot summer here in the Okanagan and real estate is chugging along like it’s supposed to this time of year. The downside to living in this part of the world are the Kelowna forest fires we seem to deal with more often than not each summer. From a home owner point of view if you’ve just purchased a home it’s important to make certain you’re able to insure it. What used to be a casual trip into an insurance broker’s office can turn out to be an ordeal during forest fire season.
Most insurance companies are reasonable and know what they’re doing. If there’s an active fire in Joe Riche most insurers don’t have any issues with insuring homes on the Westside. And vice versa. We’ve seen situations where some insurers deny all new policies when there’s an evacuation order for any part of the area making things a little tricky if that happens to be YOUR insurance company. We’re recommending buyers who are having trouble getting insurance to contact several insurance providers because they have different approaches and criteria. If you just bought a home and it’s under evacuation alert or notice you’re just not going to be able to get insurance and should get legal advice. Most buyers and sellers I’ve run across are reasonable when these sorts of things occur and negotiated possession dates are usually changed to accommodate mother nature.
Realtors have a standard “subject to buyer obtaining fire insurance” clause that is used in most transactions and I haven’t seen a contract without this clause in a long time. It’s become a part of every Realtors regular standard practice to include this and protects everyone.
If you are thinking of buying a home in Kelowna this summer call me for the top deals.
This past month was one of those months that no one predicted and sellers shouldn’t get too excited about. The high end buyer showed up, finally, in August and we saw 18 homes sell over $1,000,000. The average sale price of the 209 residential sales was $570,000 which is up significantly from the $491,000 average from July. NO, YOU’RE HOUSE DIDN’T GO UP $80,000 LAST MONTH!
Some months a lot of low end homes sell and the average sale price slips significantly but this month the reverse happened pushing the average sale price way beyond where it should be. There were 50 homes that sold over $600,000 and only 50 that sold under $360,000 which is unusual. The number of homes selling slipped a bit though compared to July ’12 when there were 233 sales but this number is way up from August ’11 when there were only 162 sales. Long time readers of this blog know that 200 monthly sales is what I consider a healthy month. Everyone should be cautiously optimistic heading into the Fall market.
Although 50 homes sold for over $600,000 last month please be aware that there are still 870 homes still for sale priced over $600,000 so we’re still in a buyer’s market.
There is still an over supply of condominiums on the market here in Kelowna but the good news for sellers is that the number of sales is on the rise and the good news for buyers is it is a great time to buy a condo.. There are 1,384 freehold condominiums for sale today and there have been 379 recorded sales through May 1st. Let’s quickly compare this to the last three years (January 1 to May 1)…
Year. Price Number of sales
2011 290,000 338
2010 293,000 426
2009 282,000 276
My first thought….”thank goodness 2009 is over”. The 379 sales this year represents a 12% increase in units sold and no one can deny this isn’t a positive sign for our condo market. Prices have dropped marginally from last year’s $290,000 but we’re still where we were in 2009 which isn’t too bad when you look at the amount of inventory on the market.
From an historical viewpoint, the average sale price 10 years ago (Jan-May) in Kelowna was $140,000 with an almost identical number of solds (391).
Looking at purchasing a Condo is different than a house. For condos after you have decided on your price range and neighborhood to live in you need to think about the restrictions on the bylaws and if they will affect you. OneÂ of the restrictions could include age restrictions, such as 19+ or 45+ or 55+ . How will these effect you and your lifestyle? It could be favorable if you are in the 55+ age bracket and don’t want to live with small children running through the complex daily, but if you are younger and move into a complex that is 19+ , get married and have a child this could be a problem
Strata living can be a great way to get into or out of the market. Email or call me if you want to discuss the pros and cons of Â condo living.
Kelowna Today. I always make sure I’m sitting down before analyzing January home stats but this year we’re showing early signs of optimism. There were 455 residential sales during the first quarter of 2011 with an average sale price of $486,000. The fourth quarter recorded 417 sales with an average sale price of $497,000. The first and last three months of the year produce fewer homes sales than the middle six months but we can still draw some early conclusions. Firstly, prices are remaining stubbornly high and Kelowna continues to outpace the rest of Canada in terms of house prices. This is clearly good news for those already living here but those choosing to wait until Okanagan housing prices come crashing down will have to continue their waiting game. These people are used to waiting though…they’ve been doing it, well, forever.
There were only 115 residential sales this January which is a little troubling. Hopefully this isn’t a canary in the coal mine. With over 1,600 families with For Sale signs on their lawns there wasn’t a lot of activity and few showings. The previous January (2011) only produced 111 sales so perhaps the lesson here for a Realtor is to choose January when making vacation plans instead of July.
As for condominiums….1,304 units for sale and 65 sales in January with an average sale price of $311,000. This is up from January 2011 when there were 61 sales at $292,000. There was a time a few years ago when it looked like there would be more condo sales than home sales some months but that won’t happen this year. You can spin these numbers any way you want but buyers can be happy that there’s a lot of choice and sellers can be relieved that once their place does sell it will fetch top dollar.
KELOWNA BC TO PAN AM GAMES GUADALJARA October 2011. Kierra raced in the 100m breaststroke last Monday and finished 5th with a time of 1:10.15. It’s her 3rd best event but the only one she was allowed to race in Guadalajara (long story). She came back with a silver medal as part of the medley relay team swimming in the morning preliminaries. Initially I wasn’t going to go to Mexico to see only 1 event but as the date came closer I changed my mind and found a cheap last minute flight and off I went. Swimming Canada managed to find me a ticket and I’m glad I was a part of it.
I stayed at the Don Quihote hotel in downtown Guadalajara, close to restaurants, buses, shopping, squares and a gazillion churches. Not the most spectacular of hotels but it was clean, people were really nice and the location was ideal.
I honestly made a reasonable effort to get around using buses. If you leave your first world sensibilities at the door I can speak reasonable Spanish after spending a year in Nicaragua 25 years ago and I think getting around on a city bus is best way to get a feel for a city. It didn’t work out too well though and I abandoned that plan on 2nd day. Taxis are fun too and $5 gets you pretty anywhere. Overall, I loved the food, history, architecture, music and the overall pace of Guadalajara.
As for the swimming….the United States dominated this meet from the first day through the last winning gold and silver for most events and they didn’t even bring their team. Their developmental swimmers were still better than everyone else and most races were a battle for bronze. Kierra was happy with her time and happier with her relay silver. She adjusted to the altitude really well and is well positioned for the olympic trials in Montreal next April. She had never competed in front of 4,000 people and she’s never signed an autograph before so it was a good experience. Her University of Minnesota coach was coaching the USA team so she was happy to see a familiar face on deck
The Kelowna residential housing market encountered what statisticians might call a “blip” last month. There were 168 residential sales which was better than most anticipated after 3 consecutive slow months but 14 of those sales were over $1 million” 3 were over $3 million and 1 was $10 million. In a community of over 100 000 people and an average household income of about $55 000 these numbers are way out of line of what we can consider normal. Clearly there has been a lot of pent up demand in the high end of the market and those buyers decided this was the time to jump in. This is the good news. The average every day wage earner is still in “wait and see” mode so we aren’t seeing as many $275 000-400 000 sales. Last month’s data skewed the average sale price in Kelowna up to $625 000.
A year ago October 2009 saw 221 sales for the month with an average sale price of $509 000. The 168 sales are a marked improvement over the past 4 months and those who had predicted a tough Winter market might have to take a wait and see approach as sellers appear to be more realistic with pricing and buyers are starting to act. It is always noted by the number of SOLD signs that are visible that the Buyers have stopped just looking and have started making their decision and writing an offer on the homes in Kelowna listed for sale. When the sold signs start appearing in the neighborhoods then it is an indication prices will start to rise and the inventory is reduced. Are you sitting on the fence?? I may be time for you to make a move.
On a personal note Jo-Ann & I are running the New York Marathon on November 7. There will be a total of 45 “000 runners.
The Kelowna residential real estate market has been known to change quickly but over time, like most places, it increases and proves to be a sensible investment. Let’s look closely at the average sale price of homes sold in May in Kelowna...
Year No. of Solds Average Sale Price
2001 245 $198,000
2003 263 $244,000
2006 287 $429,000
2008 224 $563,000
2009 216 $505,000
2010 217 $523,000
2011 197 $487,000
So, $460,000 or $520,000 next year? Don’t feel badly if you’re not sure…neither am I.
I talk to buyers and sellers every day and there’s a significant disconnect right now with most buyers believing that homes are overpriced and will likely decrease, while most sellers think prices have already bottomed out. Who’s right? The media can spin a $487,000 averages sale price two ways by focussing on the fact that it’s down farily significantly from the height of the boom, then the next day a different reporter might say that house values have more than doubled (146% increase) in the past ten years. Do you celebrate the decade or beat yourself up for not selling in early 2008?
When Jo-Ann and I started selling real estate here in 1996, pricing a home was simple. A typical bi-level in Rutland would sell in the $140,000-$150,000 range depending on if there were 2 or 3 bedrooms upstairs and Glenmore $160,000-$170,000. It was a simpler time and we could use comparable sales from the previous 3 or 4 years because values hadn’t changed and we were often able to assess a home by the time we walked from the driveway to the front door. These days it takes hours to determine a home’s value and market conditions change quickly. A quoted estimate in June or July probably won’t be the same in October or November.
Right now, there is an 11 month supply of homes on the market which is reasonably healthy. Buyers still have plenty of options while sharply priced homes are selling.
¢ 1,175 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bdrm single story – MLS®$287,000
Lower Mission, Kelowna – Well priced condo in sought after Brandts Creek Crossing. Two bedrooms and two bathrooms with Glenmore valley views from two balconies. Oversized kitchen with eating area and all appliances included in price.
Complex has many amenities including fitness area, guest suite and meeting area. Small pet is allowed, 19 years and over age limit and no rentals. Easy to show.
¢ 1,700 sq. ft., 3 bath, 3 bdrm single story – $439,000 – Fabulous Neighbourhood
Lower Mission, Kelowna – Excellent location steps to Gyro Beach in Lower Mission on a sought after family street.
Spacious 3 bedroom split level with 2.5 bathrooms.Recently renovated with new carpet, heated tile in bathrooms and new counter tops.
Park like fenced yard. 2 car garage
Living in Kelowna,
Smith McLellan Group
Royal LePage Kelowna [email protected]
To view homes go to www.Okanaganbc.com
Follow me on Twitter @smithap01
Phew! Glad To Hear This Recession Everyone Talking About Is Finally Over
Time to take a moment or two and look at condominiums and how they have been selling this year. In most areas of the country condominiums are sold to either first time buyers or last time buyers. Here in Kelowna we also sell to Albertans and children of Albertans.
As of today, there are 1,581 active condominiums for sale in Kelowna ranging in price from $129,900 up to $5.5 million. So far this year (thru May 31st) there have been 410 condo sales at an average sale price of $290,800. Compare and contrast this with the first 5 months of 2008 where there were 682 sales at an average sale price of $320,000. All in all, if you’re a condo owner in town, I can’t imagine any further losses in equity since we’ve survived the slowest time of the year (Winter) and prices have increased (albeit marginally) every month since February.
2009 Units Sold Average Price
January 41 $287400
February 51 $275,000
March 81 $279,800
April 105 $284,300
May 132 $309,800
Phew! The Recession Everyone Talking About Is Finally Over
Not so fast. Let’s take a look back to May 2007 when we recorded 213 condo sales at an average price of $311,000. We’re quite a ways from 200 monthly sales which should cause for concern with almost 1,600 units for sale AND these numbers don’t include new construction projects. The good news though is that we’re in the middle of a steady climb in both sale prices and total number of sales. I don’t think we will see average condo sale prices drop below $300,000 again so this might just be the right time to consider purchasing.
The market improved in February in both the number of unit sales and in the prices. So far this year, through the first two months, there have been 144 residential home sales at an average sale price of $429,988. January saw 54 residential transactions with an average sale price of $420,000 while February saw 90 homes sell at an average price of $435,000. It’s encouraging to see both the number of homes selling and prices increase, albeit marginally, this year and hopefully this will continue. It’s certainly something to build on.
There certainly is a disconnect going on between Kelowna home sellers and potential buyers. While there has been equity erosion over the past ten months, many home buyers are of the mindset that Kelowna sellers are prepared to accept any offer presented to them and this just isn’t the case. Kelowna remains a blue chip real estate market and continues to outperform the overall Canadian housing market.
A quick word about foreclosures…
In California, during the Fourth quarter of 2008 there were 80,595 foreclosures in that state. We all know the reasons by now which include adjustable rate mortgages, NINJAA (no income, no job, no assets) loans, no documentation loans, interest only loans etc. This has clearly created unimaginable hardship for each family involved, but 18 months into the U.S. sub-prime crises and there are only 15 foreclosures here in Kelwona. 15! There are so few, I can just about type all of them out while holding my breath…Camelot, Saucier, Carruthers, Lakeshore, Clement Quail, Westpoint, Fitzpatrick, Spyglass, Warbler, Mission Ridge, Feedham, Woodridge, Vintage Terrace and Roth.
With our neighbours from Vancouver, Alberta and USA largely staying out of the Kelowna housing market, we will continue to be dependent on local buyers which means less activity in the luxury condominium sector and the vacation home market. There has only been one sale above $1 million this year which is skewing the average price downwards. All other residential sectors in all areas of the city have active housing markets and sharply (ok, really sharply) priced homes continue to sell. The good news is that a lot of commerce is still taking place and there are a lot of unbelievable buying opportunities right now. Let me know if you would like specific information on current deals especially luxury condominiums and lakeshore properties which are becoming plentiful.
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