XMAS TREE – FOOD BANK SWAP
January 2-3, 2015

I was wondering for this year’s Christmas season, what can I do that helps you and also help those families who are having a tough time?
We all know we live in a great country and we also know that good people sometimes just need a little extra help. I’m proposing to dispose of your Christmas tree in exchange for a Vernon Food Bank donation. It’s really easy to participate, you don’t even need to leave your home. All you need to do is notify me on what day you would like the pick up, by email at [email protected] or on my cell 250 550 4203 and leave your Christmas tree on your front step along with a food bank donation of non perishable items.

I’m hoping that I’ll get a great response and together we can make this event a regular of the holiday season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Cheers!

Even at this time of year, there are always Buyers on the hunt for a home of their own. Take advantage of the drop in temperature to improve your homes marketability by enhancing its warmth and coziness.

These Three Points Can Go A Long Way To Improving Your Chances With A Buyer

1. First Impressions + Safety
Maintain your walkways; Shovel and clear your walkway and driveway to prevent potential Buyers from slipping on their way to view your home. It also speaks to your attitude about maintaining the property. Build a snowman in your front yard for humor and bring a smile to a Buyers face.

2. Clean the clutter; As always this is hugely important for your home to show well by feeling neat and spacious.

3. Make it comfortable and cozy; If you can, turn on the fireplace. Have warm lighting to bring life to your home and lighten the interior on a dark winters day. Turn up the heat to a comfortable level, making your space welcoming. We want Buyers to take their time and feel relaxed.
4. Personalize; Show your appreciation with a bowl of cookies or candies and a hand written note welcoming people to your home. Buyers often want to feel that the home has enjoyed warmth and joy before they own the home.

What Are The Benefits Of Selling In Winter?
Less Competition; Buyers have less to choose from and the spotlight on your home just got a little stronger.

Buyers Are More Motivated; There are more serious Buyers as a percentage than in the summer. Less tire kickers, less neighbors, less lookie loos, less hassle, more productive for you.

You can wait to list your home in the spring when your garden is in bloom, but then so will your competition.
Take the path less travelled and see where it leads.

Tree forts have become a lot more elaborate in the last fifteen years, a far cry from the few boards and nails we all banged together as kids. There is even a growing movement for permanent tree dwellings with all the comforts of traditional homes, amongst people looking for that unique living experience. It may be a while before this enters the mainstream, however I like the way it challenges us to think beyond the traditional scope of what a house is meant to be.

SEPTEMBER MORTGAGE RATE FORECAST

With strong growth in the second quarter, but dampened by a continuing weakness in the labour market, it is anticipated that rates will rise modestly by the end of 2014.

The 5 Yr fixed is currently at 4.79% with a projected increase to 5.65% by the end of 2015.

As anyone knows, who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last five years, predicting rates beyond tomorrow is pretty subjective. With more Albertan’s and Northern BC people in town, there does seem a greater level of confidence in the local economy. There are reports of potentially over heated housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto but real estate is always local. We have not seen the activity or price gains of these markets. Out of town buyers continue to see good value in the North Okanagan. This will continue to drive the local real estate recovery.

I know we can’t all afford this setting, but it’s great to dream!

We’ve all seen the For Sale signs going up at a brisker rate than previous years.  What has been noticeable is how many are selling. Last month saw a slight decrease from May’s brisk sales of 134 compared to Junes 122 residential units sold respectively.  New listings also were down slightly from 183 to 170 which leaves inventory currently at 630 homes. The average price last month rose from $382,914 to $397,704 as the market picks up steam.

To get a better idea of what is happening in the market, is to compare Year To Date against the same period last year.  This is where we really see the recovery with residential sales up 39.4%, average prices up 3.63% and the days it takes to sell down from 123 to 107.

Are we at the beginning of a boom?  Who knows?  Typically real estate runs in seven year cycles and we are at the beginning of that curve.  We are so dependent on economies elsewhere, the oil and gas fields, that even though the largest percentage of buyers are locals, it’s the added pressure from outside the Okanagan that will drive prices upwards.  Compared to Albertan real estate prices, the Okanagan delivers good value and I believe we will see increased interest in the lifestyle that this area offers.  Fly in Fly out is going to hugely influence future real estate trends as these workers can relocate their families to more desirable areas, such as the North Okanagan.

If you have any questions, or would like a more detailed analysis of what is trending, please give me a call at 250 550 4203.  I’ll even buy the coffee.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Cheers,

Doug

For those buying in the Okanagan, where are they coming from?

Even though, we continue to see interest from Alberta and Vancouver and welcome the market injection, it is locals who appreciate the significant opportunity that increased sales and low mortgage rates are providing.  First time home buyers continue to be an important driver as the market and general economy recovers.  A great indicator of the recovery gaining steam has been the strong activity in the recreational market, particularly at Silver Star.
57.7% from Within OMREB Board Area  (up from 51.1% in April) ***
16.3% from Alberta (down from 20.2%)
9.7% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island  (same as April)
7.3% from Other Areas in BC  (down from 10.1%)
4.3% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba (down from 4.1%)
3.7% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes (up from 3.1%) ***
1.0% from Outside Canada  (down from 1.6%)
0% from NWT/Yukon (same as April)

*** Compared to April, more buyers moved from within the Board area, and Eastern Canada/Maritimes in May.  Movement from other areas stayed the same or decline

Santa Ynez Ranch

Click on the photo to view this great article.

Don’t you love this photo? It encourages us to think about the potential for the spaces in our homes to fuel creativity and awake the inner child. What about a picnic area with a great view, on your roof? A private outdoor shower lined with Greecian Blue and terracotta tiles, and surrounded by lattice and creeper? A zip line from your deck? Let’s live more in our front yards, get to know our neighbors and build real neighborhoods. Who says we have to follow the rules?
Do you have some cool ideas?

The North Okanagan residential housing market reported April sales activity of 88 units, almost identical to the previous month’s strong showing. April saw 190 new listings enter the market place, bolstering the inventory level to 634 from 552.
Despite the spring inventory increase, the North Okanagan housing market moved out of a buyer’s market into a balanced market as rising demand, particularly at the entry level, left certain price categories well picked over.

Sales statistics for the first four months of 2014 indicate the recovery is well underway with rising consumer demand and balanced conditions emerging as we move into the warmer spring months. With prices remaining stable and record low interest rates still available, buyers who have been sitting on the fence may be poised to enter the market, while sellers will be listing homes with more confidence. Sellers will still need to remain competitive with homes that are well priced to entice buyers.

Buyers could be looking harder to find homes and may need to act promptly to buy once they have found the right home. We have all become accustomed in recent years to taking our time once we have found the right property. This is no longer a successful strategy as homes that are well priced are selling quickly in the more affordable price ranges
.
Market conscious and competitive home sellers are sharpening their pencils and seeing results. Being realistic about the market value of your home, setting an attractive list price right out of the gate and be willing to negotiate for the best offer are the keys to a successful sale.

There certainly seems to be a more optimistic tone in general from the public regarding real estate and the potential returns.

As the temperatures rise the market continues to see increased activity with well maintained, family homes priced below $400,000 selling quickly. There were 90 unit sales for the month compared to 52 sales in March 2013, this represents a jump in sales by 73.08%. Inventory is at 552 units with 158 new listings hitting the market in March. The average amount of days it is taking to sell is at 117, with affordable family homes selling considerably faster.

We are seeing a more competitive environment for good houses with pre-approved buyers having to move fast once they have found the right home. There is still a good selection of housing and with low mortgage rates homes are still affordable. All this is good news for the people who have been waiting for the opportunity to sell after the challenges of the last few years. Phone me today for more insight on current market conditions.