Business

Morgan: Housing sales optimism for 2013

With the craziness of Christmas upon us, it’s easy to get wrapped up in gift buying, mistletoes and the constant hustle and bustle of the city during this time of year.

But despite the madness of the Yuletide season, Kelowna’s real estate market has also continued to follow suit with the hectic season.

It was recently reported by the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board that sales are slightly down for the month of November, but this decrease in sales is predictable for this time of year.

Still, last month there were 140 single family homes sold in the Central Okanagan. Compare that to the 136 sales in November 2011.

That’s a 2.94 per cent increase this year over last for November.

For November, there were 1,381 dwellings listed on the MLS system, a decrease of nine per cent from the previous month.

As inventory continues to decline coupled with low interest rates, the real estate economy will continue to remain in the buyer’s spectrum.

Home sales are expected to finish the year up 13 per cent at 5,450 units— even after factoring in the impact of tighter credit conditions in the Central Okanagan.

It has been forecast by British Columbia Real Estate Association that interest rates will be remain low heading into 2013, but we may see a gradual increase in mortgage rates later in the year.

“Forecast sales in 2013 reflect an improvement from the levels this summer in the immediate wake of the mortgage rule changes,” said Gregory Klump, BCREA’s chief economist.

With the Okanagan remaining one of B.C.’s most desired places to live, our region will continue to drive people to invest in vacation homes, settle down or simply enjoy the lifestyle.

“It is one place where you golf in the morning and snowboard in the afternoon or night,” said Kelowna resident Kyle Swain.

“The Okanagan is defiantly the place to live. Kelowna really is a community that cares and comes together in times of need.”

Local resident Danielle Rideout can speak to that, having reached out to our community for help during her family’s time of distress and received an outpouring of local support.

The New Year looks bright and prosperous for the Okanagan. Remember that slow and steady will always win the race.

From my column to your home, Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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