I found this article on the Vancouver Sun’s website today. Provincially the real estate market is feeling the squeeze. The Sun reported that real estate sales are down 58% in the Lower Mainland. In Kamloops, the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association released it’s January statistics and our board is reporting 64% drop in residential sales for the month of January. Read below for the full story, it is focused more on the Lower Mainland, but keep in mind our market is not so different here in Kamloops. We are affected by some of the same economic factors that the Lower Mainland is affected by.
Home sales at lowest point since early 1980s, according to reports
Real estate sales across the Lower Mainland crawled along in January, real estate boards reported Tuesday, with consumers reluctant to buy during recessionary times and with expectations that prices will continue to decline.
In Metro Vancouver, Realtors recorded 762 Multiple-Listing-Service sales in January, down 58 per cent from the same month a year ago, and the so-called benchmark price for a typical detached home down 11 per cent to $659,638 compared with January of 2008.
In the Fraser Valley, Realtors booked a similar 59-per-cent decline in sales at 359, and the so-called benchmark for a typical single-family home down 9.6 per cent from the same month a year ago.
Both the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, which covers most of Metro except Surrey, and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, which takes in Surrey and White Rock, said sales were at levels not seen since the early 1980s.
“We’re seeing the same factors at play: uncertainty in people’s minds about where the economy is going and where their jobs are going,” Robyn Adamache, a market analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said in an interview.
“As well, I think at lease some people are expecting further price reductions and perhaps are holding off on buying waiting for that to happen.”
The B.C. Real Estate Association on Monday released its latest forecast that predicted prices will decline 16 per cent in Metro Vancouver over 2009.
Adamache added that January is traditionally a slow sales month and not a month that can be used to gauge how the year will go, but “we’re sort of well below [sales levels] we’ve seen in previous Januarys.”
Both real estate boards also saw inventories of unsold homes decline in January. In Metro Vancouver, covered by the Greater Vancouver board, January new listings were down 30 per cent to 3,700, and current active listings of 13,966 are down 6,000 from October.
However, Adamache said that sales have slowed so much that the months of supply in unsold inventory has crept up to 11 months, the highest it has been in 10 years.
She added that the ratio of sales to new listings has dropped to a level that has not been seen since at least 1984, the first year for which she has records.
In the Fraser Valley, total inventory of unsold homes in January stood at 8,630 units, 26 per cent higher than January 2008, but 30 per cent lower than the record high inventory recorded last September.
Tsur Somerville, director of the centre for urban economics and real estate at the Sauder School of Business at the University of B.C., said it will be later in the year before we know how much the market is still declining, or whether there has been any stabilization.
The reason, Somerville said, is because the year-over-year comparison is with a month that had relatively high sales, and the dramatic drop-off in Vancouver’s markets did not begin until later in the year.
“I think we’re still declining just because the [sale decline] is 60 per cent versus 40 to 50 per cent,” Somerville said in an interview, “but we won’t get a sense of how much and at what rate until later.”
Dave Watt, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, said the last 10 days of January did see realtor showings and sales pick up relative to the beginning of the month.
Watt said the buyers in the market are “back to looking for a home to purchase and are very much thinking long term.”
The numbers are out. The Kamloops and District Real Estate Association has released the statistics for January 2009. It is amazing to see the difference between the number of sales this January vs. the number of sales last January. I thought the numbers would be up significantly from December 2008, but I was definitely wrong (December there were 60 residential sales). Residential unit sales were up by only three for the past month. I have noticed an increase in the amount of buyers actively looking for a home, but obviously many buyers are waiting to see what will happen with the prices in the market in the next couple months or so. I will be interested to see the February statistics and see if there is a significant change from January, which I believe should occur.
Kamloops Real Estate, Comparative Analysis By Property Type For January 2009.
Kamloops Real Estate, MLS Activity Report For January 2009.
What is your home worth? Click here for a free online home evaluation.
When you are selling your home, the price you set is a critical factor in the return you will receive. That is why you need a professional evaluation from an experienced Realtor that is well educated about your area of Kamloops. This person can provide you with an honest assessment of your home based on several factors including:
* Current market conditions
* Condition of your home
* Repairs or improvements
* Time frame
In real estate terms, market value is the price at which a particular house, in its current condition, will sell for within 30 to 90 days. Today, in Kamloops real estate market, we are finding that homes are taking longer to sell, on average roughly 70 days for a well priced home. This is why it is important to price your home competitively as well as ensure it is in the best condition to show to buyers as possible.
If the price of your home is too high several things could happen:
* Limits buyers: Potential buyers may not view your home only because it would be out of their buying range.
* Limits showings: Other Realtors and buyers may be less reluctant to view your home.
* Used as leverage: Other Realtors may use this home to sell against homes that are better priced.
* Extended stay on the market: When a home is on the market too long, it may be perceived as defective. Buyers may wonder, “what is wrong,” or “why has not this sold?”
* Lower price: An overpriced home, still on the market beyond the average selling time, could lead a lower selling price. To sell it, you will have to reduce the price, sometimes, several times. In the end, you will probably get less than if it had been properly priced at the start.
* Wasted time and energy: A bank appraisal is most often required to finance a home.
It is a well known fact that well-kept homes, properly priced in the beginning, always get you a quicker sale for the best price. In a buyers market, like we are experiencing currently, often you need a professional to assist you in the sale of your home.
As the Government of Canada’s national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), plays a major role in Canada’s housing industry. The agency offers numerous housing services including research services, market evaluations, and access to affordable financing choices. Programs include aboriginal housing, residential rehabilitation assistance, home adaptation for seniors independence, public and private partnerships and numerous grants and awards.
For many people, especially first time home buyers, saving the necessary down payment is a challenge. Additionally, with less than 25% of the purchase price to put down, a lender requires mortgage insurance for protection against any payment defaults. CMHC makes it easier for Canadians to obtain a home, by providing mortgage loan insurance. By providing this insurance, CMHC limits the lenders’ risk, allowing the lender to finance up to 95% of the purchase price of a new home. You can purchase a property with as little as 5% down. If the cost is $150,000, you only need a down payment of $7,500.
You can become a homeowner, even if you don’t have a large down payment put aside. You just need to meet the following conditions and home ownership can be within your reach.
* The home must be located in Canada and considered your principal residence.
* You must have a down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price.
* Your home-related expenses must not exceed 32% of gross household income
* Your total monthly debt load must not exceed 40% of gross monthly household income
* You must be able to pay closing costs equal to at least 1.5% of the purchase price.
For up to date Kamloops real estate information and surrounding area homes for sale click here.
Paul and Pinantan Lakes are beautiful lakes just outside of the Kamloops city. Paul Lake is 20 minutes (roughly 21 kilometers) north east of Kamloops and Pinantan is 25 minutes north east (26 Kilometers), just past Paul Lake.
Paul Lake is 390 hectares in area with a mean depth of 28.9 meters and max depth of 55.2 meters. There is a provincial campground which attracts a number of visitors in the warmer months. Situated at the provincial park and campground visitors can access a public boat launch. Paul Lake does allow power boats, wake boarding and water skiing. At Paul Lake you can also enjoy canoeing, swimming, fishing (rainbow trout average 3.5lbs), cycling and hiking to name a few activities.
Many properties border the lake. The Kamloops Indian Band leases properties for 25 year terms. There are often properties for sale on Paul Lake with water frontage. The annual lease rates range between $3,500 to $5,500 per year. There are a select few properties which are freehold land titles on Paul Lake. These properties tend to be more expensive than the leasehold properties.
Deerwood at Paul Lake is a freehold strata development with a number of townhomes. Deerwood has breathtaking views, beautifully kept lands, docks, in-ground pool, workshop, tennis and unlimited RV parking. Click here to find Paul Lake real estate listings.
Pinantan Lake, named this because it means ‘shoe’ or ‘moccasin’ in traditional Aboriginal language. This name given because of it’s shape is much like a moccasin. Pinantan has a general store, a resort, an elementary school, and about 500 residents. The lake itself is two parts, Big Pinantan and Little Pinantan. The lake itself is 68 hectares in size, with a mean depth of 10.6 meters and max. 18.5 meters. Unlike Paul Lake, Pinantan properties are freehold properties not leased land. There are a number of boat launches at Pinantan Lake. Only electric powered boats are allowed on the lake. Fishing (rainbow trout average 1 lb) and swimming are permitted in Pinantan lake. There are also hiking trails and other outdoor activities in and around the area to enjoy year round.
There are a number of homes in the Pinantan, some are used only as summer cabins and other homes are year round residences. There are a number of MLS listings in and around Pinantan Lake. For more information on Pinantan properties click here.
Paul Lake and Pinantan Lake both begin to ice over in November and thaw around mid April. Paul Lake has an elevation of 796 metres and Pinantan 878 metres. Both lakes offer the opportunity to live rurally with convenience of a short commute to the city of Kamloops.
To read more about other neighbourhoods click the link below:
South Kamloops is a great area of Kamloops to live. It is near a number of amenities; schools(elementary to high school), downtown shopping and the hospital. All of these things are within walking distance of this home. If you are needing to get to TRU, a short bus ride is all that it takes.
There are a number of MLS listings in the South Kamloops area. This three bedroom one bathroom old timer is a great home for a first time home buyer, investor or someone who wants to downsize. From the front entrance you enter into the dining room and living room. This home is on a corner lot, which allows for a lot of natural light to come into the home through the large north and east facing windows.
There is one bedroom on the right and the entrance to the kitchen straight ahead. The Kitchen is very large, it has updated floors and newer counter tops. The second main floor bedroom is just off the kitchen as is the four piece bathroom.The floor plan of this home is great and for the right person can definitely be modernized to an open floor plan.
Downstairs there is a single bedroom, den and laundry room. The basement does need flooring but otherwise is in good shape. There is a lot of storage space in the basement as well as a separate entrance.
This home has a lot of character, there are a number of features such as original doors and doorknobs, crown moulding above the doors and high ceilings. The electrical has been updated to 100 amp service. There is a small deck off the back of the home as well as a storage shed.
Call for more information or to book an appointment to view.
Over the past couple days I have been through a whole variety of single family homes in Kamloops; upwards of 25 or so listings. I have found that in today’s market the pricing of these properties is all over the place. It appears that there is no consistency in the pricing of listed properties and I think this is because of either the home seller or agent confusion.
First, in my opinion, since the market has dropped some sellers are stuck at 2007 values, where homes were 10% or so higher than today’s market value. We were living in a real estate bubble where housing prices “would never go down” or “buy now or be priced out forever”. It is a fact that when we are in the midst of a housing bubble, people feel like it will never end, probably because of human nature. It is easy to get caught up in the euphoria of it all. I have to admit, that was the feeling I got from a lot of people around me, but I personally felt the change coming. We are now getting back to reality and working towards a balanced market, but are still far from it. Sellers have to price their homes competitively to sell, there are far more homes rejected from the market because of price in comparison to the number of homes that sell. To get your home sold, price your home right from the beginning. If you as a seller want to reduce, approach your agent, they should welcome the idea.
Secondly, there is this belief out there that prices will return to previous levels in the spring. This is felt by some sellers and Realtors alike. I have a very hard time believing that this could be remotely true. With the incredible uncertainty in today’s economy from job losses to a lack of confidence in the markets, there are no indicators out there that show that the market will return to previous levels anytime soon. This is my opinion of course.
The encouraging news to sellers is that over the past couple weeks I have seen an increase in the number of buyers looking to purchase a home. There are always people that have to sell their home and buy another. The Kamloops Real Estate Board has been reporting more sales lately than we saw last month. The statistics will come out in early February and I will include them here.
If you are thinking about selling your home, my suggestion would be, get it on the market sooner rather than later. There are a number of sellers wanting to go on the market in the spring. Beat the rush and get your property on the market and advertised to the public before the spring rush and increased competition.