Okanagan – Shuswap Market Update

Real Estate continues to follow a typical flow of transactions. July and August are usually a little slower due to the “Kids are out of school” factor, and this is evident in our stats for August of 2011. There is still some downward pressure on prices, but again, that is not unusual for August. Stats usually show an increase in activity from September to November after the kids go back to school. However, there is another force affecting our markets in BC. In August the results were announced to get rid of the HST. We will probably see a very temporary and slight softening in our stats over the next few months. Prices should remain fairly constant, but activity will slow when compared to last year. There are 2 reasons for this prediction. First, while the change from HST back to GST only affects the sale of new homes in BC Real Estate, that small percentage of sales that may not happen… tends to create a ripple effect in the market. Second, the HST vote may affect consumer confidence. Even home buyers that are considering a pre-owned home, are uncertain about the effect of the HST vote and a small percentage of those buyers may wait. The good news in the market is that interest rates and prices are more affordable and both are creating a positive effect on BC Real Estate . Whatever effect the HST has on our market, it is very temporary. We will likely see a noticeable rise in activity after the GST returns, and with prices and interest rates remaining low, NOW is an excellent time to buy.

Quick Facts:

*65% of all properties priced at market value sell in 3 weeks or less
*87% of all properties priced 2% under market value sell in 2 weeks or less
*A property priced just 5% over market value has a 1 in 20 chance of selling in 12 weeks or less

No one likes to lose money. Regardless, since 2007 the average price of our local homes has dropped anywhere from 10-30% depending on the price range. When pricing a house, Realtors look at comparable homes that have recently sold and what is presently on the market. Those comparables tell us the market has dropped. Most of the inventory that has been on the market for 30 days or more in the Okanagan/Shuswap is overpriced, otherwise it would be sold. At Century 21, we promote our listings on MLS.,Realtor.ca and Century21.ca which syndicates to over 8000 websites across Canada. We also advertise our listings on Kijiji, Castanet, Craigslist, YouTube and Facebook. Our website consistently places higher on Google searches than any other Real Estate company. We have by far the most powerful marketing system in the Okanagan/Shuswap. If a home does not sell with this kind of exposure, the only variable left is the price. In other words…Price means everything. However, if the sellers are buying again in the same marketplace…price means nothing. While they get less for their house , they are going to pay less for their new house. Conversely, if they wait till the value of their house rises before they sell, then they will pay more for their new house. It’s all relative…so why wait??