Housing market outlook upbeat

The Okanagan's housing market is poised to start recovering on a number of fronts in 2010, says the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

New home construction, total sales, and average sale prices are all showing signs of rebounding next year, the CMHC says Thursday in its latest outlook for B.C.

Total housing starts for Kelowna area are forecast to be 750 in 2010, up from 600 this year but way down from 2008, the last hot housing market year when 2,257 structures were started here.

Total multiple listing sales for the Kelowna area should increase to 3,700 (3,300 in 2009) while the average selling price will rise to $405,000 from $390,000 this year, the CHMC predicts.

The 2008 figures were 3,445 homes sold through multiple listing at prices that averaged $430,755.

"Key drivers of housing demand are showing signs of improvement," noted a CMHC market analyst in explaining the optimistic forecasts. These include low mortgage interest rates, population growth, and tighter resale market conditions.

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