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Red Hot Housing Needs a Break

Blog by | July 21st, 2008

A recent article in the Daily Courier highlights Kelowna's current real estate market:


The cooling of the local real estate market could be categorized in the same way as forest fire risk. We've gone from the extreme high end of the scale ot merely high.


After five years of scorching sales activity and blistering price increases, the Okanagan housing market needs some relief. We already have so many large projects under construction, it might be a good idea to have those projects come onto the market before foring ahead with more.


House prices in the Okanagan have become the top topic of conversation, as annual prices increases doubled or even tripled property values in just five years.


It has been a good ride, but the dizzying pace of the increases has put home ownership out of reach for many in this area. It's fine for people who are already in the housing market, but the prices are a barrier to anyone trying to move here from anywhere other than Toronto, Vancouver or Victoria.


And it's not like the market has tanked - it's just slowing down at this point. An anverage house in Kelowna still costs $512,867 in June, nearly $10,00 more than a house cost in June 2007.


The Okanagan is different from most other markets in Canada. Attracting buyers, mainly retirees, levels off every few years, but the demand never comes to a complete stop.


Even the ominous news on today's front page about Canadian recession is counterbalanced by our story on the Okanagan's relative economic strength compared to other regions in BC.


Until we see a prolonged period of backward movement in the local market we'll remain optimistic about the future.