Was 2012 the worst year ever for foreclosures in Kelowna? Are the awful days over when some were wondering if foreclosures would drag our market down to the levels in some American states? It looks that way. Out of the 4,500 single family Kelowna homes listed for sale this year only 164 were court ordered sales. Is this good? Well sort of. It’s good when compared to the 224 foreclosures brought to market in 2012 but it looks like a nightmare when compared to the 26 foreclosures listed ten years ago when it was unusual for Realtors to been seen in a court room. Foreclosures went through the roof in 2009 when it increased from 31 to 108 in a single year. They steadily increased to 164, 176 and 224 from 2010 to 2011. Although 164 is still a significant number, it’s encouraging to see the number going down again.
The 2011 census says there are over 42,000 single family homes in Kelowna so there will always be court ordered sales. If the number of foreclosures kept increasing into the 300-400 range then it would have had an even greater impact on property values and our community at large. The high cost of housing here means more debt for Kelowna area home owners. With an average sale price of $480,000 compared to the Canadian average of $330,000 we’re more vulnerable than other Canadians when there’s a 10% decrease in values. This is especially so when buyers enter the market with 5 or 10% down. Many owners in areas like Wilden, Mission Hill Estates and Southridge, where a lot of homes were completed around the height of the boom, are having a tough time selling because in many cases their homes are worth less than what they paid for them. The good news is that the worst is over and most of us got through unscathed.
Last month there were only 6 single family Kelowna foreclosures in our entire board….down from 13 in October 2012. Two in Black Mountain and only one in Glenmore, Shannon Lake, Peachland and Joe Riche. I have two brothers living in Athens, Georgia and St. Louis, Missouri and they each have 6 foreclosures on their streets. I hope this trend continues.
For today’s list of Kelowna Foreclosures go to www.kelowna-foreclosures.ca