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Real Estate  

A building housing market

Whether it's the construction of new homes or the selling of homes - the housing market in the Central Okanagan is in good shape right now.

Figures released for August show housing starts in the Kelowna Census Metropolitan area (Peachland to Oyama) are similar to those posted in July.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, housing starts in August sat at 1,213 units compared with 1,276 in July.

The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted rates of housing starts.

"The trend in housing starts for both single detached and multiples was relatively unchanged in August reflecting stable demand for new homes," says Sarena Teakles, CMHC Senior Market Analyst.

"This level of new home construction is consistent with Kelowna's balanced resale market and in line with CMHC's outlook for the year."

The stand alone seasonally adjusted annual rate was 973 in August, down slightly from the 1,065 units the month previous.

While new home starts are showing some strength, sales across the board are up on the Central Okanagan.

Figures released by the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board shows a 23 per cent increase in sales activity of all MLS® property types over August of 2013.

Conditions in the Central Okanagan are now in sellers’ market territory with more demand than supply in some areas – especially in homes priced below $400,000 where inventory is short – and a buyers’ market in the higher price category. 

New listings have fallen during five of the last six months with total inventory in the Board area down 11% compared to August 2013, resulting in levels similar to those last seen in 2008 when active listings were particularly tight.

“The selection of entry level home choices has been significantly reduced with the drop in listings, so buyers are viewing properties in a higher price range to find better selection.   With strong prices, high demand and low inventory, if you are looking to sell, now is the time to do it before winter sets in,” says OMREB President, Darcy Griffiths.

“However, there are still tremendous opportunities for buyers to get into the market with the price of single family homes fairly stable in most areas, and mortgage rates still at historic lows.” 

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