Morgan: Flat real estate sales market to kick off 2013

This past year, we have experienced the highs and lows of our real estate market.

As another year ends, we say goodbye to the memories made and lessons learned, and we also say goodbye to the milestones that were reached throughout the year in our real estate market.

This past year, we have experienced the highs and lows of our market such as high inventory, low interest rates, price verses patience when selling, mortgage rule adjustments and implementation of the next to step to the PST transition.

Progressively throughout 2012, we have also continued to experience lower and lower interest rates.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney quoted that elevated consumer debt levels represent the biggest domestic risk to the financial system. This is why it has been in our favour to keep interest rates low to maintain the economic recovery, but it’s also those same low rates that have caused consumers to take on more debt.

Looking back to July, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced major changes with our mortgages rules, in hopes of attempting to slow down the accumulation of debt of Canadian households by reducing the maximum amortization for a government-insured mortgage to 25 years from 30 years and reducing the amount of equity homeowners can take out of their homes in a refinancing to 80 per cent from 85 per cent.

By September, Canadians began to feel the effects of Flaherty’s new mortgage rules. The country was experiencing the start of the real estate cool down that would extend to the end of 2012.

For instance, it was reported that only 116 single family homes sold in Kelowna for September 2012—that number is lower than the number of single family homes sold back in 2007 when the Okanagan faced what was then called a recession.

B.C. successfully voted to abolish the Harmonized Sales Tax and revert back to the provinces previous ways of having two taxes, the GST and PST.

This month, the temporary housing transition tax was implemented, allowing for a tax of only two per cent on the sale price for any newly built homes, where at least 10 per cent of construction has occurred before April 1, 2013.

Looking back at 2012, it has been evident that Canada has experienced some major trends in our real estate market and will continue to experience the highs, the lows of the market well into 2013.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.

Just Posted

Missing Kelowna woman found

Christine Olsen-Meissnitzer has been located

More than $270,000 raised for Kelowna-based hospice

10th Swinging with the Stars fundraiser for the Central Okanagan Hospice Assoc. is a big success

Former Kelowna councillor and radio talk show host Barrie Clark dies

Clark remembered as a fair-minded ‘statesman’ who saw the big picture when it came to Kelowna

Getting into the swing of spring

Kelowna garden shop is busy now that spring has finally arrived

Axe the tax says Kelowna city council

City says it wants B.C.’s Speculation Tax dumped because it could have a significant impact here

Old timbers grace new Timmy’s

The newest Tim Hortons just outside of Oliver was officially opened Saturday

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

New anti-radicalization centre in the works for B.C.

Centre aims to help ‘vulnerable individuals of the path to radicalization’ before they turn to crime

B.C. bravery, public service honoured by Governor General Julie Payette

UVic basketball coach Kathryn Shields inducted into Order of Canada

Sea lion with rope wrapped around neck saved by Vancouver Aquarium

Steller sea lions are a species of special concern and some populations are endangered in parts of Alaska

50-million-year-old fossil found in B.C. town makes history

Paleontologist Dr. Bruce Archibald says Princeton, B.C. is becoming famous for giving up rare fossils

Shephard to don Maple Leaf Down Under

Former KSS Owl and current UBC Thunderbird to play for Canada at Commonwealth Games

VIDEO: Dashcam records near-miss by bad driver

Speeding pickup truck shown illegally passing on highway shoulder

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read