Housing market set to pick up again

by Castanet Staff – Story: 57325 Oct 6, 2010

The residential real estate market is set to pick up again after a brief summer pause.

However, in a report prepared REMAX, sales are not expected to reach the robust levels experienced in the final half of 2009.

“Conditions are firming up, although comparisons are difficult,” says REMAX Regional Executive Vice-President, Elton Ash.

“2009 defied logic in terms of residential housing activity. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. We cleaned up in the first quarter of 2010 because housing activity during the same period on year earlier was dismal.”

Ash says the industry is now comparing the second half of the year to 2009 and falling short of expectations.

“Looking at the big picture, the market remains healthy.”

Kelowna saw a large spike in upper end home sales during the first eight months of 2010.

To date, 29 homes valued at $1 million or more have sold, an increase of 163% over the first eight months of 2009.

Overall, the average price for a residential home also increased by 6.7%.

The price of an average home in Kelowna now sits at $418,598 compared with $392,370 a year ago.

Sales also jumped 8.1% over the first two-thirds of 2010 from 2,523 in 2009 to 2,728 this year.

The report also indicates the introduction of the HST in both B.C. and Ontario has had just a nominal impact on the sales market.

Economic uncertainty, the report goes on to say, played a much greater role on softer market conditions over the summer months.

Pam Martin of Invis, Mortgage Broker – Kelowna,Vernon, Penticton, Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada