Kelowna Real Estate Market News

April started off slower than in recent years, which is to be expected given the current state of the market, but interestingly, rather than 'ramping up' heading into May, Agents are reporting the phones quieter.

Why? Well, there is no real reason. Interest Rates are looking more settled, the Mortgage Stress Test is here to stay, (the effects now seem to be flattening out - see the graph below) and Economic Indicators are improving for the Okanagan according to the latest Report.

Kelowna & Central Okanagan Real Estate Sales April 2019.




Single Family




  Apr 19 435 222 180 11 22
  Mar 19 354 153 169 10 22
  Feb 19 275 133 119 11 12
  Jan 19 199 88 93  7 11
  Apr 18 502 249 205 23 25

Last month-:

- Sales were up 22.9% on last month.

- Single-Family Homes sales up 45%

- Strata sales up 6.5%.

Compared to last year -:

- Overall sales were down 13.3%

- Single-Family Home sales down 10.8%

- Strata sales down 12.2%.

Inventory Levels...

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First-time Buyers were busier in the Market last month, as were move up Buyers, taking advantage of some of the softer prices we are seeing in the Kelowna and Central Okanagan Real Estate Markets.

There were less local Buyers moving, and to be expected fewer Buyers from the Lower Mainland, but interestingly more Buyers from Alberta.

To read the full Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Buyers Survey Results - see the details below -:

Property Type:

24.00% First Time Purchase (up from 18.13% in January)
19.11% Move Up Purchase (up from 16.58%)
15.56% Relocating to Similar Property Type (down from 18.65%)
8.00% Revenue/Investment (down from 11.92%)
14.67% Downsizing (up from 12.95%)
4.89% Moving from Single-family Home to Strata Unit (down from 8.29%)
2.67% Moving from Strata Property to Single Family Home (down from 4.66%)
4.89% Recreational Property (down from 6.22%)
0.89% Retirement Home/Seniors Community (down from 2.07%)

Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):

27.19% Two Parent family/children (up from 22.40%...

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If you are looking to Buy a Property in an area, of the Province of British Columbia, where Speculation Tax is payable, you need to know that you are not on the hook for an outstanding Bill where the Seller hasn't paid.

In a recent BC Real Estate Association Bulletin came good news for Buyers and their Real Estate Agents, in that they don't have to worry about including a clause in a Contract of Purchase and Sale that specifies that a Buyer won't be held liable for the Speculation and Vacancy Tax (SVT).

Here's why:

  • When a buyer purchases a residential property, they will either pay the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) or be exempted from the PTT because they took advantage of an exemption like the First Time Home Buyers' Exemption or Newly Built Homes Exemption. Payment of the PTT (or exemption) means you're eligible for an exemption of the SVT for the year of purchase.
  • The SVT is levied on the person who owns the property on December 31 of the calendar year. That means if...
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The snow finally left us in March and as the month progressed I did see 'limited' evidence of Buyers starting to look.

Interestingly though, many times I saw in the feedback, "this was just a fact-finding mission'.

If we think about it logically, Buyers coming up from Vancouver and the Lower Mainland have seen quite a downturn in their own Markets, which they haven't been used to for some time, and a number of Buyers looking to move from Alberta, are having difficulty selling their homes.

This translates into negative sentiment about the Real Estate Market, in general, and they are thinking the market is going to fall further, so they will wait.

I can certainly understand why they would say that, with inventory rising and sales relatively slow.

The biggest concern across the whole Canadian Real Estate Market is the Mortgage Stress Test. This is not only affecting First-Time Buyers (who are the Engine Room of the Market), but also Buyers well up the chain. I am hearing evidence of many...

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Property Type:

18.13% First Time Purchase (up from 16.87% in January)

16.58% Move Up Purchase (down from 19.28%)

18.65% Relocating to Similar Property Type (up from 18.07%)

11.92% Revenue/Investment (up from 10.84%)

12.95% Downsizing (down from 16.27%)

  8.29% Moving from Single family Home to Strata Unit (up from 4.82%)

  4.66% Moving from Strata Property to Single Family Home (up from 2.41%)

  6.22% Recreational Property (down from 7.83%)

  2.07% Retirement Home/Seniors Community (down from 3.61%)

Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):

22.40% Two Parent family/children (down from 30.30% in January)

25.00% Couple without children (up from 23.64%)

18.75% Empty nesters or retired (down from 23.03%)

16.15% Single female (up from 12.12%)

  9.90% Single male (down from 10.30%)

  3.13% Single parent with children (up from 2.42%)

Moving From:

62.89% From within Board area (down from 63.86% in January)

16.49% From Lower Mainland/Island (up from 12.65%)

  7.22% From other...

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The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,533 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, a decline of 27% from the same month last year.

The average MLS® residential price in the province was $678,625, a decline of 9.3% from February 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $3.08 billion, a 33.8% decline from the same month last year.

“Prospective homebuyers continue to be sidelined by the mortgage stress test,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Deputy Chief Economist. “As a consequence, and despite a strong BC labour market, sales remained slow in February.”

Total MLS® residential active listings increased by 36.5% to 30,891 units compared to the same month last year. The ratio of sales to active residential listings declined from 27.4% to 14.7% over the same period. “Falling mortgage rates should provide some relief for homebuyers,...

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