Lifestyle

Morgan: Luxury real estate left hanging in the balance

It has been said that some incredibly wealthy individuals reside in our sunny Okanagan, from hockey players and rock stars to movie stars. But with the real estate market reflecting a slowdown in sales in recent years, what has been the impact on luxury real estate sales?

Over the past five years, we have experienced first-hand just what a recession feels like, experienced the slowdown in not only real estate sales but also small ‘Mom and Pop’ stores which have struggled to make ends meet when their business sales slumped.

So just how much money remains in the Okanagan?

The price range that seems to be driving the real estate market for single family homes is priced between $250,000 and $450,000.

Statistics for last month have shown for the higher-end waterfront properties, only a mere four homes sold. With 483 housing units selling for the month of June, that’s only a disappointing 0.8 per cent of the market for the waterfront properties in the Central Okanagan.

The average sale price for these higher-end homes was about $1,848,000. Currently on the market are 380 high-end single family properties on the market for more than $1 million.

Sales figures reflect that only 14 million-dollar single family homes sold last month in the Central Okanagan, although that number is up from the eight units sold in June 2012.

“Our findings for 2013 point to renewed confidence in much of Canada’s high-end real estate market. High-end buyers have adjusted to tighter lending controls and Canadian real estate is still seen globally as one of our strongest assets,” said a confident Ross McCredie, CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

However, across Canada overall sales of luxury detached homes were flat or down significantly in most of the major markets in the first half of 2013 compared to the same time last year. Sales of high-end homes were down about nine per cent in Vancouver and about six per cent in Toronto.

So where does this leave the Okanagan? Will we continue to see luxury real estate pick up as each month passes or is there the lingering possibility that the Okanagan will flat line like our neighbouring cities have recently experienced?

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