Okanagan Real Estate News from Bo Skapski May 2016   
  Real Estate News

Bo Skapski

Assurance Realty Ltd.
#100 - 1634 Harvey Avenue
Kelowna, BC
250-808-5508 or 1-888-301-2121

Major home repairs are the last thing you want to deal with when the nice weather hits.  Our feature article offers an easy to follow spring maintenance checklist that'll help keep your home in tip-top shape.

There are also some great ideas on how to start your own vegetable/herb garden as well as a few tips on how to spring clean your smartphone.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Bo Skapski

In this issue...
Okanagan-Shuswap Real Estate Market Report 
Okanagan housing market smashes old record!

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reports an all-time record of 1,069 residential sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in April, up 34.3 per cent from the same month last year.

The previous record was 1,015 unit sales recorded in May 2007.  The average MLS® residential price was up 13.4 per cent to $459,595 compared to April 2015.  The dollar volume of residential sales climbed 52.3 per cent to $491.3 million compared to April of last year.

“Housing demand in the Okanagan is exceptionally strong this spring,” said Anthony Bastiaanssen, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the central Okanagan.  “In addition to an increase in the number of local buyers, relocations from the Lower Mainland and other regions of Canada are becoming increasingly common.”

Underpinning a high level of consumer confidence is the province’s enviable position as the best performing economy in the country, along with the attendant employment and wage growth, as well as a growing population bolstered by migrants from other provinces.

“Record consumer demand combined with the fewest active residential listings since 2007 has created sellers’ market conditions in many neighbourhoods and across most home types,” added Bastiaanssen.  “This imbalance is leading to upward pressure on home prices in the region.”

Board-wide (Peachland to Revelstoke):  Overall sales of all property types reported in OMREB’s board area during April climbed 40.3 per cent to 1,208 units compared to the same month last year.  The 1,805 new listings taken board-wide for the month were up 1.2 per cent compared to April 2015, while total active listings declined 16 per cent to 6,003 units over the same period.

Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country):  Transactions of all property types in the Central Zone were up 47.7 per cent to 821 units compared April 2015.  Total residential sales for the month were up 39.9 per cent to 743 units compared year ago levels.  The sale of single family homes increased 31.2 per cent to 383 units over the same period.

Average number of days to sell a single family home in the Central Okanagan in April was 50 days, down from 63 days in April 2015.  The 932 new residential listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month were down 6.4 per cent from a year ago, while new single family listings were up 11.5 per cent to 496 units over the same period.

North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby):  Overall property sales for April in the North Zone were up 33.5 per cent to 271 units compared same month last year.  Total residential sales were up 28.6 per cent to 243 units, while single family home sales were up 39.2 per cent to 142 units compared to April 2015.

Average number of days to sell a single family home in the North Okanagan was 84 in April compared to 80 days the same month last year.  A total of 360 new residential listings taken for the month were down 11.1 per cent over the same month last year, while new single family listings edged back 1.4 per cent to 205 units.

Shuswap-Revelstoke Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke):  Sales activity for all property types in the Shuswap-Revelstoke Zone last month climbed 11.8 per cent to 114 units compared to April 2015.  Total residential unit sales for the month edged back 1.2 per cent to 86 units compared to the same period.

The sale of single family homes increased 13.3 per cent to 51 units in April compared to the same month last year.  The average number of days to sell a single family home in the Shuswap during April was at 82 compared to 131 days during the same month last year.

There were 219 new residential listings taken in the zone last month, up 1.4 per cent compared to the April 2015, while new single family listings were down 9.7 per cent to 102 units over the same period.

Top 10 Spring Home Maintenance Tips 
Spring's the perfect time for taking care of outdoor maintenance!

The arrival of warm weather signals fun in the backyard with friends and family.  The last thing you want to deal with are unexpected home repairs so here’s a list to help keep you on track:

  1. Clear away debris and dead foliage from flowerbeds.

  2. Inspect hose connections to ensure there aren’t any leaks.

  3. Replace damaged window screens and weather stripping.

  4. Clean your fireplace and/or wood-burning stove and flue.

  5. Make sure your lawn mower, weed wacker and other tools are in good working order.

  6. Clean and repair your patio furniture and inspect your deck for loose or rotten boards.

  7. Trim back shrubs and vines that are growing near your air conditioning unit and dryer vent.

  8. Inspect and clean your gutters and make sure downspouts drain away from your foundation.

  9. Patch up any cracks you find around your foundation and driveway before they spread further.

  10. Inspect your roof for cracked or missing shingles and trim branches that hang over top of your roof.

Proactive home maintenance helps prevent small issues from getting out of hand.  Your home is a huge investment and minimizing repair bills will help you realize your highest rate of return.  When you're done, you'll be able to relax and enjoy the lazy days of summer knowing that everything's been taken care of!

A Guide for Growing Your Own Veggies 
Eating local doesn't get any closer than your own backyard!

There’s nothing more delicious than a summer meal made from sun ripened vegetables and herbs from your own garden.  Here are a few things to keep in mind if you're thinking about growing your own veggies this year:

  1. Small & Sunny - Start with a small area if it’s your first year.  Make sure it’s a sunny spot and if you’re really short on space, use pots or window boxes.

  2. Planned Planting - Plan your garden according to your family size.  Food prices are on the rise so it makes cents to grow produce that’s expensive to purchase at the store.

  3. Go Organic - Growing your own produce is the best way to ensure your vegetables aren't full of chemicals.  It's also less expensive, more convenient and very rewarding.

  4. Succession Success - If you stagger planting times for a single crop or plant a different crop after one has harvested, you'll enjoy a continuous supply of fresh vegetables throughout the season.

  5. Child's Play - Gardening with your kids is a fun learning experience that will inspire them to try new veggies.  Pumpkins are great as they can decorate their very own jack-o-lantern at Halloween!

Not only is gardening cost effective and fun but it’s also an excellent stress reliever.  Your local nursery will have a variety of seeds, plants and other tools to help you get started.  If this is your first year gardening, make sure you keep notes on which vegetables do well so you can plan ahead for next year.

Smart Cleaning for Smartphones 
Most of us forget to clean up after of our most trusted companion!

Studies have shown that a smartphone is actually more contaminated with germs than a public toilet seat!  Gross, right?

Cleaning every day with a microfiber cloth will reduce dirt, grime and bacteria.  There’s some debate on whether a homemade solution of alcohol and water is safe as some “experts” say it may harm your phone while others say it’s fine.

To be on the safe side, you can purchase a cleaning solution made specifically for smartphones that will remove all the nasty germs.  For the serious germophobes, there are chargers that will completely sanitize your phone while it charges!

PS Instant Email Notification
Searching for Kelowna BC real estate MLS listings used to involve calling on signs or newspaper ads and stumbling onto open houses. The problem with these methods is that you only see a small percentage of what's on the market. The MLS site is far more effective; however, only limited information is revealed, such as the price and number of bedrooms. As a buyer, you want to know all of the pertinent information such as the address, taxes and so on.
An Easier Way...
Our home search technique emails you Kelowna BC Real Estate MLS listings which match your criteria! Just fill out the checklist and whenever new MLS listings hit the Kelowna BC real estate market matching your criteria, they're flagged and automatically emailed to you. There's no need to spend your spare time searching for homes which may not even match your criteria - just sit back and relax!
Free & No Obligation...
Best of all, this exclusive service is offered to you absolutely free and with no obligation. Just take a few moments to complete the following checklist and you'll instantly be on your way to mastering the Kelowna BC real estate market!

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.