I couldn’t recall ever seeing a month of July where the number of homes sold was less than the number sold in December. July 2010 saw 126 residential sales compared to 249 sales for July of 2009. Analytical types can go find a calculator but this represents almost a 50% drop in unit housing sales year to year. December, which is traditionally the slowest month of the year, for obvious reasons, saw 131 Kelowna residential sales for the month. I looked it up and the last time this happened was 1981.
The reason few are pressing the panic button is because this was predicted earlier in the year by BC Real Estate Association’s Chief Economist Cameron Muir (and others). Sales were expected to drop off largely due the the implementation of the Harmonized Sales Tax in both Ontario and BC which created higher than expected demand earlier in the year.
The really surprising number that jumps out off the page is the average sale price of a home in Kelowna last month was $596,700, up from $486,000 July 2009. Take a moment to re-read that and let it sink in fully. Are all home owners worth $100,000 more than a year ago? Of course not. There were 11 homes (of the 126 sales) selling for over $1,000,000 which is a statistical abnormality (8.7%….found the calculator) for our market and is unlikely to ever happen again.
Taking a sneak peak at August, things are clearly busier with more buyers phoning and writing offers again. A word caution though, there are 80 court ordered sales (foreclosures) on the market right now which is higher than I’ve ever seen which is likely to put downward pressure on prices. I can’t remember a time that was better for buying a home here in Kelowna. Interest rates are at lifetime lows, there is a lot of high quality inventory to choose from and more and more sellers are negotiable with their original asking prices.