Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Buyer’s market back In Kelowna

This past weekend I read a great article in the Kelowna Daily courier Business section Saturday Feb 21 by Steve MacNaully.

I agree 100% and would add that the Okanagan Real Estate market is traditionally made up of 48% local buyers, 28% Alberta buyers, 20% Vancouver buyers and 4% everyone else.

That means that for the last 3 months we have had local buyers driving our market.

I would anticipate that when the snow is gone from the Rogers Pass and the Coquihalla Hwy we will see a return of our rubber tire traffic bringing buyers from Alberta and Vancouver.

This is an opportunity for wise investors to buy when inventory is high, prices are soft and interest rates are low. Fill your boots!

Bert Chapman
Managing Broker

Rather than saying house values are dropping, think of it as the market getting more affordable.

By Steve MacNaull / The Okanagan Saturday

Let’s flip he numbers around, suggested Coldwell Banker Realty Canada president John Geha during a stop in Kelowna this week. Instead of six per cent unemployment, there’s 94 per cent employment.

And rather than house values dropping, the market is getting more affordable. “Real estate is a commodity that will not and cannot disappear,” said Toronto-based Geha.

We live in it and we worship in it. We need and want it. And no matter how many downturns there are in the market, real estate eventually always goes up in value. As the shock of the recession wears off, consumers will start to realize that now is a good time to buy while prices are down, according to Geha. Rock bottom mortgage interest rates designed to instill consumer confidence are another bonus. “It will be real estate that starts to stimulate the economy, “said Geha.

“Building or buying a house starts a whole ripple effect that includes manufacturing to make the equipment that digs the hole and make the materials that go into a home, to retail for home items and services like painting, realtors and lawyers.”

Geha became Coldwell Banker Canada President earlier this month after moving from Toledo, Ohio to take the job. “The Canadian real estate market and economy are on better ground than the U.S. he said. “Canada does not have the same mortgage industry (as the U.S.’s problematic sub-prime model) and it is good at exporting and attracting foreign investment and tourism.”

Coldwell Banker Canada controller Anthony Montanaro accompanied Geha on the trip to lead a seminar for local Coldwell Banker realtors on getting through tough times. “Most agents have only known good times. They’ve never been through a downturn,” he said. “We’re telling them to reach out to past clients and tell them that now is a good time to sell their existing home and trade up.”

Kelowna Coldwell Banker broker Gary August concurs. “Smart buyers are taking advantage of low interest rates and the 20 to 25 per cent price drops of the pst six months to buy or trade up.

The most active price range is more affordable homes under $500,000.” he said.
August also urged those in the Okanagan to stop listening to the grim American news.

“It’s not as bad in Canada,” he said. Things will start getting better by the end of the year.”

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