Okanagan Real Estate News from Bo Skapski February 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

It's important to be aware of the latest home trends, especially if you're looking for ways to make your home more appealing to buyers. This month’s article outlines some of the popular home trends for 2018.

There's also some great advice on how to maintain your smoke alarms as well as a website that will challenge your brain and donate to charity at the same time!

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 market delivers solid start for 2018.

Residential sales across the region of Revelstoke to Peachland totaled 449 in January, consistent with sales in December and a 27% increase over this time last year reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

“January showed a substantial jump in both sales volume and new listings over this time last year, with increases of 27% and 45% respectively,” says OMREB President Tanis Read.

Read notes that, despite the increase in new listings, average price, at $523,402, rose 19% over January of last year while staying consistent with December at a less than 1% uptick.

“It’s not really surprising that the volume of new listings hasn’t had an effect on pricing. We still need more inventory to match current demand and there would be a lag between an increase in inventory and potential price moderations,” Read comments. Read adds that it will bear watching over the next couple of months as to whether the spike in new listings continues and any resulting impacts a possible increase in supply has on price.

Another market indicator, days on market, showed an average of 99 in January, consistent with this time last year, but up from December’s 79. “December’s average days on market was a bit of an anomaly, as averages have tended to be in the 90 plus days for the winter months over the past several years,” notes Read.

Alongside product supply versus demand, other factors affecting the local real estate market include interest rate hikes and the new mortgage stress test which came into effect January 2018.

“The Bank of Canada interest rate hike on January 17, the forecast of more increases to come this year and the new stress test are all expected to have an impact,” says Read, although these factors will likely be offset by continued strong economic performance predicted for BC, albeit somewhat moderated from the last several years.

“It’s anyone’s guess at this point as to how much of an impact interest rates and the stress test will have as compared to other factors that can buoy the market, like a robust economy,” comments Read. Local market characteristics continually shift with the factors that impact, so it pays to engage a real estate professional whose job it is to stay abreast of conditions and who has the knowledge to analyze and accurately interpret the implications.

Taking a look at buyers of homes in the region, the results of which lag the market statistics by one month, we find a strong showing from first time buyers at 21% of the buyer population, followed by move-up buyers at 18% and a spike in those buying for revenue/investment purposes at 18%, up from 13% the previous month.

In terms of family make-up, couples without children led the way at 25%, followed by two-parent families with children at 24% and empty nesters/retired at 18%.

Hot Home Trends for 2018 
Curious about what’s trending in homes and gardens this year?

It’s that time of year when homeowners are thinking about revamping and refreshing their space.  Here are a few of the latest trends and styles that are gaining steam:

  1. Ziggity Zag - Geometric patterns are making a comeback! It could be as simple as adding a few accent pillows or for a bolder statement, consider some patterned wallpaper.

  2. Concrete Ideas - This versatile material is becoming increasingly popular for sinks but can also be used in more unique ways such as furnishings, wallcoverings and tile.

  3. Sleep Easy - Embrace minimalist bedrooms this year with soothing neutrals and plain furniture pieces. Keeping the space simple will help you enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

  4. Full House - Multigenerational living is a major home design trend for 2018. Additional kitchens, basement renovations, and seperate entrances are just some of the ways homes are reflecting this trend.

  5. The Heart of the Home - Homeowners are injecting warmer, brighter tones on their kitchen walls and cabinets. Sinks made with materials like stone, copper, concrete or granite will also steal the spotlight in 2018.

If you're thinking about breathing some new life into your home with a new year’s makeover, be sure to take the latest trends into account during the planning stage. Hopefully these ideas have given you inspiration to inject some new style into your home!

Smoke Alarm Smarts 
Smoke detectors are important but they’re often overlooked.

Countless tragedies are prevented each year by smoke detectors. Here are a few tips to ensure your smoke detectors are in full working order:

  1. Test each alarm regularly by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.

  2. Blow the dust out of the alarm whenever you check or change the batteries.

  3. Don't "borrow" the batteries for the TV remote as you'll likely forget to replace them.

  4. Smoke alarms should be replaced at least every ten years to ensure proper working order.

  5. Don't install alarms near windows or doors as drafts could stop smoke from reaching the alarm system.

  6. There should be at least one alarm installed on each floor including the basement and preferably every bedroom.

Alarms can be hard wired, battery powered or preferably a combination of both. Interconnected smoke alarms are best because when one alarm goes off, they all do. If you have any questions, your local fire department will be more than happy to help.

Educate and Donate 
Smarten up and end hunger, a few grains of rice at a time!

Next time your kids are on their devices, send them over to www.FreeRice.com where they can learn and donate at the same time!

Users answer multiple choice questions on a range of subjects including math, language, geography and science.  When a question is answered correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated via the World Food Program.

These questions aren’t just for kids; in fact, anyone can benefit from this game as you can adjust the difficulty level. The vocabulary section will definitely give you some mental stimulation so it’s a win-win!

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  https://www.boknowshomes.com/real-estate-listings/instant-email-notification/ 

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.