WALKER: Stats show Kelowna may be heading for a more balanced real estate market | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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WALKER: Stats show Kelowna may be heading for a more balanced real estate market

Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate.
July 16, 2017 - 3:00 PM



While it’s still too early to call the race, early signs indicate that Kelowna’s hot real estate market is starting to even out a bit. In June 2017, active single family residential listings sat at 955, a healthy increase over July 2016’s 882 active listings.

OMREB’s latest Central Okanagan market statistics show an 8.89% increase in new listings for June compared to the same month last year. At the same time, the number of units sold is down nearly 23% from 888 to 684. The number of total active listings is starting to catch up too. This June, active listings stood at 2,669, which is 2.77% decrease from June 2016’s 2,745 listings.

3-Year Inventory of Active Single Family Residential

3-Year Inventory of Active Single Family Residential Units
3-Year Inventory of Active Single Family Residential Units
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Mark Walker

Want to hear another crazy stat? The total number of residential units sold in June 2017 was 283. That number was 327 in May 2017 and 402 in June of 2016, indicating a reduction in the number of homebuyers.

Why a balanced real estate market is better for everyone

The team at Walker Real Estate have their fingers crossed that a balanced market is coming and will be here to stay for a little while because it’s better for both buyers and sellers.

If you’re a homebuyer, you obviously want the market to be balanced rather than a seller’s market. It means that you don’t have to move as quickly to purchase a home and that you can negotiate a fairer price. Homebuyers are also less likely to end up in stressful bidding wars. This part seems obvious, right?

Single Family Residential Average Prices

Single Family Residential Average Prices
Single Family Residential Average Prices
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Mark Walker

If you’re a homeseller, you may be thinking that we’re off our rocker. How could a balanced market possibly be better than a seller’s market. Well, unless you are selling off an investment and planning to pocket the cash, you are probably both a seller and a buyer.

Most people who are selling a property are intending to purchase a new one. If home prices keep rising, you’ll be getting more for your home but paying more too. Even clients who are downsizing are at risk as Kelowna’s inventory for lower priced homes (below $500,000) is particularly low. Trust us when we say that a balanced market is very welcome right now!

What should sellers expect from this shift in the market?

First things first; we can’t definitively declare that the Central Okanagan has entered a balanced market yet. These latest stats could be an anomaly or the start of a larger trend. But if this IS the start of a long-term market trend, there are a few things you may want to be aware of:

1. Anticipate price reductions

A well-priced home will typically sell within 30 days. If your home isn’t generating offers or viewings, it’s probably priced too high. This may have been a mistake in the first place, or it could be that buyers are disenchanted with the market right now and holding off on buying. Don’t be surprised if your Realtor says you need to do a price drop.

2. Prepare for stiffer competition

Whether you’re in a seller’s market or not, your Realtor should have made some recommendations to you about staging your home, including packing away personal items and giving the home a deep clean and maybe a coat of paint. Adhering to these instructions is especially important if we are in a balanced market. Homebuyers are going to have more choices and may not be as willing to see through the faults and flaws of your home.

3. Practice patience

Right now, average days on market is about the same as it was this time last year, hovering at about 61 days on market. Lower priced homes will typically sell more quickly than those priced in the higher brackets too. But with an increase in inventory and a drop in sales, that number may start to creep up - especially if your home isn’t priced well, needs some TLC, or is particularly unique.

A final thought…

Kelowna’s housing market has been running rampant for several months now and it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. Whether you’re buying or selling, be sure to enlist the help of a qualified and dedicated Realtor who will have your best interests at heart. You can trust us when we say that Walker Real Estate works hard for our clients and we would be thrilled to work with you on your real estate journey.

If you have any questions about the Kelowna real estate market, please contact me directly. I can be reached at 250-764- 4344 or Mark@KelownaProperties.com.

Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate. His company runs the website KelownaProperties.com - Kelowna’s most comprehensive real estate search tool.

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