Morgan: August bullish for housing sales

The traditional slower fall and winter months for real estate activity are now before us.

As the summer closes with its last wave of heat, so does the real estate market for the Central Okanagan. As predicted by many economists, August finished strong for housing sales.

Real estate agents’ phones were ringing as inventory remained low, coupling with hungry buyers eager to settle down before the sluggish school months set in, resulting in an increase of sales and stable sales prices.

Residential sales for the Central Okanagan jumped 14.21 per cent from this time last year, rising from 183 to 209 sales.

Condominiums experienced a similar situation, as sales were up a hefty 27.27 per cent from last year’s August numbers, seeing an increase from 77 to 98 units sold.

For townhomes, sales leapt from 58 sales in August of 2012 to 66 this year, reflecting an increase of 13.79 per cent.

For the month of August, overall housing sales were up by a confident 12.66 per cent.

Still, new inventory for the Central Okanagan remained on the low side. Residential listings reflected a number of 352 from 2012’s number of 386. That’s a decrease of 8.81 per cent.

Total inventory for residential listings came in at 1,477 still down from August last year at 1,672, a diminishing 11.66 per cent.

Surprisingly, new condominium listings jumped 12.68 per cent, from 142 to 160 new units on the market, but still down from the total of 822 when compared to 2012’s August figures of 895,  dwindling 8.16 per cent.

Townhomes experienced an increase as well, a whopping 24.49 per cent boost from 98 new listings to 122, but like condo listings that number is still down 11.80 per cent for the grand total for townhome listings.

Perhaps with low inventory and continued whispers of mortgage rates soon to be on the move upwards, now is the time to jump into homeownership.

For example, Dominion Lending Center is offering and affordable 3.49 per cent on a five-year term. With a 25 year amortization period and purchase price of $200,000, your low monthly payment could be approximately $997.49. One has to ask oneself: “How can you afford not to?”

But before getting too excited, remember that the traditional slower fall and winter months for real estate activity are now before us. So those of you who are on the fence, perhaps now is the time to plunge into the market before inventory starts to drop and interest rates possibly start going up.

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