Business

Real estate sales optimism for 2013

In September, only a mere 116 single-family homes were sold in the Central Okanagan, a surprisingly low monthly number but comparable to September 2007 when Canada’s red-hot real estate market came to a halt with just 117 single family homes reported sold.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, September home sales fell across Canada by 15.1 per cent from a year ago, however, this is not region specific information.

In October, 123 single family homes sold, slightly up from the previous month. Last year, that figure was 132 dwellings sold, a decrease from 2012 to 2011.

As Canada’s housing market cools down in the third and fourth quarters, whispers are being heard of another recession.

However, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is claiming a different forecast. In CMHC’s recent  Housing Market Outlook, the housing sales forecast for 2013 shows an increase of eight per cent in sales over 2012. Inventory is expected to remain on the high side, offering competitive sale prices and extending the buyer’s market sales conditions before leveling out by mid-year.  And mortgages rates are predicted to rise only slightly in 2013.

The increase in employment growth in the Kelowna and surrounding areas will continue to support the supply and demand of the housing market, according to the CMHC forecast.

“We see a pick up in growth in both employment and the economy next year, and that’s what leads to a slightly stronger outlook for housing,” said Carol Frketich, CMHC’s B.C. regional economist.

Among all these promising predictions, CMHC says  Canada has been feeling a recent staleness in the market due both to the usual seasonal slowdown and that extreme adjustments were made to the mortgage rules last July, forcing Canadian buyers to tighten up on their spending.

The likelihood of seeing 2006 sale prices in the near future is doubtful as buyers are waiting for the bottom to hit in our real estate slump, but we may not be waiting too much longer if CMHC is on target with its housing sales forecast for 2013.

Ceinwen Morgan has worked in the Kelowna real estate industry for the past five years.

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