No matter what report we see released, there are always some good news items, and I think it is only appropriate to focus on some of those in the recently released CMHC Canadian Housing Observer for 2012.
In general, the year has unfolded roughly the way most people were thinking. Some cautious optimism returned to the market place and as sales picked up in terms of pace, what used to be GeoPolitical issues, which should now be renamed to simply GlobalPolitical issues plagued the progress that we made.
Whether it is fiscal cliffs in the US, civil wars in Libya or Syria or indeed Eurozone debt crises, Canada has proven that it is not completely immune to the effects of the global nervousness. I am sure it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how instability on one side of the globe is always going to effect us in one way or another at home.
However, the good news highlights in the report are, in my opinion, as follows:
- Kelowna has slowed on housing starts - this is good news since we led the nation on housing starts per 1000 population for the period 2006 - 2011 clearly leading to an overbuilt market place.
- Mortgage payment as a percentage of debt is reducing and getting closer to 2006 levels after a serious spike in 2008.
- 72% of homeowners have more than 25% equity in their homes, 19% have between 10% and 25%.
- The percentage of mortgages three or more months in arrears is rapidly heading back down to a low in 2006.
- Interest rates for mortgage lending have remained at historically low levels.
- The real collective net worth of Canadians has improved since the economic downturn.
So we have a little bit of good news to finish the year on and a stable foundation upon which we can continue to recover and subsequently build a solid housing market that contributes tremendously to Kelowna's economy.
As usual, if you have real estate questions or wish to discuss my articles, you can email me at [email protected]
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