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

Bo Skapski

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

An unexpected repair bill is the last thing you want when you move into your dream home.  This month’s feature article highlights the importance of getting a home inspection so you can move in with confidence.

There are also some ideas on how to affordably update your bathroom as well as an introduction to Slack which is a powerful instant messaging tool that’s taking the online world by storm!

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 
The Okanagan housing market gains momentum!

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reports that 847 MLS® residential sales were recorded for the month of March, up 26.8 per cent from March 2015.  Last month was the second strongest March on record.

Home sales reached a record 892 units in March 2007. The average MLS® residential price was up 9.6 per cent to $429,226 compared to March 2015.  The dollar volume of residential sales climbed 38.9 per cent to $364 million compared to March of last year.

“Homes sales were exceptionally strong in March,” said Anthony Bastiaanssen, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the Central Okanagan.  “The spring housing market is now shaping up to be one of the most active on record.”

Rock bottom mortgage interest rates, relatively robust employment growth and rising wages are helping to underpin housing demand, while migration from the Lower Mainland as well as other provinces is bolstering growth in the number of Okanagan households.

“Active listings on the MLS® were down nearly 19 per cent from a year ago,” added Bastiaanssen.  “Market conditions are now favouring home sellers in many neighbourhoods, and as a result, competition is increasing for the best properties.”

OMREB’s three diverse markets – Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, and Shuswap-Revelstoke – have different sales activity and prices, with supply and demand varying among property types at different times and locations, with ups and downs experienced zone-by-zone and month-by-month.

In order to fully understand the current residential market, and to look at trends within property types and varying price points in different neighbourhoods, it is important to consult with a local REALTOR®.

Board-wide (Peachland to Revelstoke):  Overall sales of all property types reported in OMREB’s board area during March 2016 climbed 25.7 per cent to 933 units compared to the same month last year.  The 1,896 new listings taken board-wide for the month were down 3.5 per cent compared to March 2015, while total active listings declined 13.2 per cent to 5,918 units over the same period.

Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country):  Transactions of all property types in the Central Zone were up 24 per cent to 636 units compared March 2015.  Total residential sales for the month were up 24.5 per cent to 589 units compared year ago levels.  The sale of single family homes climbed 21.7 per cent to 303 units over the same period.

Average number of days to sell a single family home in the Central Okanagan in March was 57 days, down from 61 days in March 2015.  The 936 new residential listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month were down 5.3 per cent from a year ago, while new single family listings were down 1.8 per cent to 486 units over the same period.

North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby):  Overall property sales for March in the North Zone were up 33.6 per cent to 187 units compared same month last year.  Total residential sales were up 38.5 per cent to 169 units, while single family home sales were up nearly 58.7 per cent to 100 units compared to March 2015.

Average number of days to sell a single family home in the North Okanagan was 97 in March compared to 89 days the same month last year.  A total of 351 new residential listings taken for the month were down 8.6 per cent over the same month last year, while new single family listings were unchanged, albeit up 1 to 186 units over the same period.

Shuswap-Revelstoke Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke):  Sales activity for all property types in the Shuswap-Revelstoke Zone last month climbed 23.6 per cent to 110 units compared to March 2015.  Total residential unit sales for the month were up 24.3 per cent to 92 units compared to the same period.

The sale of single family homes rose 20.9 per cent to 52 units in March compared to the same month last year.  The average number of days to sell a single family home in the Shuswap during March was at 125 compared to 134 days during the same month last year.

There were 210 new residential listings taken in the zone last month, down five per cent compared to the March 2015, while new single family listings were down 16.2 per cent to 98 units over the same period.

Avoid Headaches and Heartache with a Home Inspection 
Buying a home can be emotional, especially if it's love at first sight!

Imagine that you’ve finally found your dream home and you’re feeling on top of the world!

Now think how you’d feel once you’re all moved in only to discover it’s nothing but a money pit.  Hidden surprises are the last thing you want to deal with.

It’s easy to overlook potential problems when you find a home you love as you tend to focus all your attention on the positive features.

Your mind’s made up and you just want to put in an offer as quickly as possible so you don’t lose it to another buyer.  However, taking the time to have the home professionally inspected will help you see the full picture.

Home inspections help identify both existing and future problems.  There's no such thing as a perfect house so don't be alarmed when minor issues arise.  Look at it more as a valuable learning experience as most inspectors will discuss the home’s systems and offer advice on how they should be maintained.

Home inspections aren’t just for buyers.  Sellers often have inspections completed before they put their property on the market so they're not caught off guard and forced into a vulnerable position.  Knowing your product is key when it comes to sales so it's important to be fully aware of any existing problems beforehand so they can be dealt with accordingly.

Not everyone chooses to have a home inspection but if you want to avoid buying a home riddled with problems, it’s a worthwhile investment.  Choose a certified home inspector who comes highly recommended and ensure the cost includes a written report.  The knowledge and peace of mind you'll gain is well worth the expense.

Bathroom Makeovers that won’t Break the Bank 
Updating your bathroom doesn't have to be a pricey project.

There are various ways to refresh a tired looking bathroom on a budget.  Here are a few simple and inexpensive bathroom makeover ideas that’ll add value to your home without breaking the bank:

  1. De-Clutter - Your bathroom will look cleaner and larger if you remove clutter.  Throw out anything that’s expired and place items you rarely use in drawers.

  2. Simple Spa - Create a room you can unwind in by rolling up plush towels in wicker baskets and adding some aromatic candles to create a natural, spa like atmosphere.

  3. Upcycling - Add some creative charm with reclaimed wood and revamped furniture.  An old wooden ladder for example makes a great towel holder.

  4. Tropical Paradise - Breathe some life into your bathroom by adding a few plants.  It'll create an oasis like feel and they'll love the humidity.  Consider a hanging basket if space is tight.

  5. Accessorize - It's easy to make an impact with small details so add some pizzazz by updating the shower curtain, drawer handles and towel racks.

It’s easy to update your bathroom without committing to a full on renovation and hopefully the ideas above will help inspire you.  Don’t forget about the power of paint coupled with a beautiful, unique piece of art as this is another powerful yet simple way to freshen up a blah bathroom!

The New Way for Teams to Communicate 
The rapid growth of this hot new messaging app is insane!

Slack is a hugely successful messaging app that was built to help workplace teams share files and communicate with one another.

Slack is also a great communication tool for families.  It’s like having your own private social network!  You can use it to update grocery lists, co-ordinate calendars, schedule appointments and to privately share photos and videos.

Whether it be for business or pleasure, this hot new app is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a productive way to communicate and share information with a specific group of people.  Let me know what you think!

PS Instant Email Notification
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