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WALKER: Kelowna real estate market starting to see impact of governmental changes

Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate.
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Now is a great time to buy Kelowna real estate. The market continues to truck along at a steady pace, but we’ve seen a bit of a softening in terms of sales over the last few months. This has led to increased inventory on the market.

To date, the inventory increase hasn’t really had much of an impact on prices, but if it is a long term trend, we could eventually start to see prices cooling somewhat. Kelowna will remain a fantastic place to live, so demand will no doubt remain strong and robust.

I believe what we’re starting to see is some of the impact from the changes introduced by the Bank of Canada, the government of Canada and the government of BC over the last few years.

Of course, the great irony is that the real estate sector has been a key part of British Columbian and Canadian economic growth for a significant period of time. For example, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that mortgages make up 60% of CIBC’s loan book. 60%!

What’s more, Christina Kramer, the head of CIBC has said they anticipate a 50% reduction in mortgage originations - new mortgage transactions - for the second part of 2018.

Indeed, she recently revealed the following: “We expect there to be an origination decline in the 50 per cent range relative to the same period last year, A year ago, two-thirds of our revenue would be related to our mortgage business and today that’s about a quarter.”

Many of the changes introduced by government were aimed at arresting climbing house prices. It remains to be seen if there’s going to be any kind of significant decrease in property values here in Kelowna. I’m not sounding alarm bells here, but it is certainly something to watch.

With that said, there are advantages to buying in this kind of market, but now could also be a great time to sell too. Much depends on your specific needs, and that is why it’s important that you work with a real estate professional who can work on your behalf and get you the best possible deal.

If you have any questions about the Kelowna real estate market or real estate in general, please do not hesitate to contact me. You can reach the Walker Real Estate office at 250-764-4344.

—Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate. His company runs the website - Kelowna’s most comprehensive real estate search tool - and KelownaCondos - your source for all you need to know about condos in Kelowna.

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