Housing market’s strange magic
Bill Hubbard - Apr 20 - Columnists

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick

In the first quarter of 2017 everything points towards a booming real estate market: multiple offers are driving prices up and houses are selling faster than ever before.

Virtually all the numbers are saying BOOM, except for one very important one: sales.

Average home sales in two regions of the Okanagan – Kelowna and Vernon –  are down for first quarter of this year compared to last year.

But how can this be when everything else is moving up?

Real Estate statistics usually move together like a circle of people all holding hands, shuffling from Point A to Point B. However, these regions have jumped out of the group and decided to go in the opposite direction.

Not only that, people are afraid to put their house on the market because they might not find something to buy.  But they can’t find something to buy because people are afraid to put their house on the market.

I call this strange magic in real estate (and yes, I did steal it from Queen).

I knew something was up when some of my best realtors were coming to me saying they weren’t having great first quarters.

What’s significant here is that that these realtors were working more with buyers than with sellers. The demand is much higher than the supply.

However, I believe the supply will slowly increase again. Building permits are rising and every spring the number of houses on the market goes up.

That will slowly start to level things out, and this strange magic in our real estate market will slowly go away.

Bill Hubbard is a real estate broker and the owner and broker of a four-office real estate firm in the Okanagan-Shuswap. He has been in real estate for 28 years and has been an owner and broker in Vernon for 20 years. At almost 60 years old he is just as passionate about real estate as the day he started.


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