Okanagan Real Estate News from Bo Skapski October 2018   
  Real Estate News




Bo Skapski
Bo Knows Homes Desrosiers Cook Team

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


 
Selling your home involves many important decisions, one of which is determining the right asking price. This month's article explains why overpricing your home can potentially lead to disaster.

There are also a few tips that'll come in handy if you plan on flying with your kids as well as some great ideas on how to build a bit of community spirit this Halloween.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you 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 Real Estate Market Report 
Residential prices inch up despite fewer sales.

Despite slower sales activity of 585 residential sales in September compared to 709 the previous month and 740 last year, average price across the region of Revelstoke to Peachland inched up 5% over August and 8% over last September, reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

“We’re seeing a shift across the region with all signs, save average price, pointing to a market continuing to transition from a sellers’ market to one that would favour buyers and sellers more equally,” comments OMREB President Marv Beer.

“While average price, at $534,943, crept past both the previous month’s pricing and this time last year, houses are sitting on the market for longer so it’s likely only a matter of time before we start to see downward pressure on price,” says Beer. Beer was quick to note that average price can swing from month to month, depending on the mix of higher and lower-priced homes that sell in that timeframe.

Other indicators of a normalizing market include an increase in the time it takes to sell homes, with 90 average days on market for September, compared to 78 last month and 78 last year. Rising housing inventory is another signal, now 29% higher than a year ago with more supply slated to come on-stream within the next year or two.

“More supply means buyers have more choice and, as a result, tend to become more discerning. This can ultimately affect price, however real estate markets are never quite that simple, as other factors are also at play,” says Beer.

Already checked by higher interest rates, the market may react to predictions of more hikes, now more likely with the US Federal Reserve’s most recent rate increase and the Bank of Canada’s pledge that rates will rise in October. Government policy changes, such the proposed speculation tax slated to be voted on in October can also have a dampening effect. Conversely, the market is bolstered by strong provincial economic fundamentals such as low unemployment and demographics that include millennials ready to purchase their first home.

Looking at buyers of homes in the region, the latest results from home sales closing in August reveals a strong showing of first-time buyers at 16%, although two-parent families with children topped the list at 30% of buyers. Those buying for revenue or investment purposes were 14%. Typical for the region, the largest buyer group, at 56%, comprised those who already live in the area, with the next largest groups being those from the Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island at 21% and those from Alberta at 12%. Foreign buyers were just 1%.

Beer notes that buyer profiles for the region have remained consistent over the eight years of data collection. “While the BC government would have us believe that speculation by foreign buyers and those from other provinces is making homes here less affordable, the reality is that at 84%, the vast majority of buyers in this area are BC residents, and that figure changes only slightly year over year” says Beer adding “Clearly, the solution to greater affordability lies elsewhere.

The Principles of Pricing 
Your asking price can either make or break your sale.

Pricing your home correctly is critical to a successful sale as it will help ensure that your home sells for the most amount of money, in the shortest amount of time.

Determining a home's asking price involves comparing similar homes in nearby areas that have recently sold while also taking past, present and future market trends into account.

Although you may have your own personal opinion of what your home's worth, it's important to be unbiased and realistic. At the end of the day, it’s the market that determines your home's true value.

There's always a huge buzz when a new property hits the market but if the price is too high, it will quickly become stale and there won't be any incentive for buyers to make a swift, strong offer. Worse yet, if it sits on the market too long, it’ll develop a stigma. We’ve all walked past a home that’s sat on the market for ages and wondered, “what’s wrong with it?”

Having your property sit on the market is also very inconvenient as you'll constantly have to keep it in a show-ready state which can be extremely stressful, not to mention exhausting. Furthermore, carrying costs such as mortgage interest, insurance, taxes and utilities will quickly add up if you get stuck carrying two homes at once.

Overpricing your property will actually help your competition as buyers will see other homes in your area as much better deals since they're less expensive. If, on the other hand, your home is priced close to fair market value, those same buyers will consider your home much more seriously.

Pricing a home is part art and part science. Market factors such as the economy, time of the year and interest rates can all make a huge difference. Your home only gets one chance to make a great first impression so it's important to enlist the services of a highly-qualified real estate agent to help you get things done properly from start to finish. Please don’t ever hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

Things to Know when Flying with Kids in Tow 
When you take to the skies with little ones, be prepared for anything!

If you have young children, flying has likely taken on a whole new meaning, and fun probably isn't a word that springs to mind!

Flying with little ones can be somewhat bearable though if you're properly prepared. Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind:

  1. Call Ahead - Get details on seat selection and stroller storage. Reserve the bulkhead section if you're traveling with an infant and ask for a cot.

  2. Supply & Demand - Bring extra snacks, a variety of sticker books, lots of crayons and a few small toys to help hold their interest.



  3. Back-up Pack-up - Pack diapers, wipes and a few extra clothes in a separate, smaller bag so you don't have to lug your entire backpack to the bathroom.

  4. Get a Move On - Keep them on the move before the flight to tire them out so they won’t end up kicking the seat in front of you the whole time.

  5. Fasten Your Seatbelts - Have a few important items on hand in case you’re unable to access the overhead compartment and always have a drink ready to help relieve their ear pressure.

It always takes a little longer to do anything with kids so be sure to allow a bit of extra breathing room. Also, flying definitely isn’t the time to worry about your kids being on their screens so bring along a fully charged device (and a portable charger) to help distract them during the flight. Oh, and don’t forget the headphones!

Halloween in the 'Hood 
Halloween's a great way to get to know the people on your street!

It’s not often that the people on your block are out roaming around in full force so why not use Halloween as an opportunity to build some community spirit! Here are a few fun ideas to consider:

  1. Scariest House on the Block - Hold a competition for the best-decorated house, get everyone involved by voting and have a small prize for the winner.

  2. Open House - Forge new friendships by hosting an open house. Serve a few simple drinks and snacks and invite everyone on your block either before, after or during trick or treating.

  3. Grossest Grub - Have all the families on your street bring a Halloween-themed food item and then vote on the grossest, scariest food to see who wins!

It’s easy to avoid contact with those who live close by, so this Halloween, why not help build up your community with some spooktacular fun and make some new friends!



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