At Fortune Marketing our licensed agents work with Re/Max Kelowna, we selected this brokerage as they are the top office in Kelowna. The office is owned by Cliff Shillington, a broker owner with a wealth of experience. Recently I was reading the latest issue of Okanagan Home Magazine and came across an article Cliff has contributed. We thought you would enjoy!
Okanagan Home Summer 2013
Drive down any street in the Okanagan, particularly Kelowna, and you will see the return of those familiar white and red license plates on those shiny new trucks and a few cars. But, this time it is different. Our neighbours to the east are not facing real estate sticker shock like they did a few years ago. In fact, they are finding bargains compared to what they pay for a comparable property in Calgary and Edmonton. Buyers from Fort McMurray just grin when they see what they can buy here as opposed to their market which is simply out of sight. And they get to live in one of the most desirable places in Canada.
What has happened over the last few years is that the prices in resource rich Alberta have continued to climb while our prices in the Okanagan have declined. We were off the radar for most of the prairie buyers until this past year as they had looked south of the border in the sunshine states to take advantage of the bargain prices that all the foreclosures and short sales offered. But now the American real estate market has picked up steam and are seeing dramatic price increases. As a result, our Alberta friends are once again looking at the desirable Okanagan and much to their pleasant surprise, they are finding our prices much more affordable than in the past. Albertans are back to making up 20% of the buyers in the Okanagan market once again and has helped kick start our spring market. Spring and early summer sales are 11% ahead of where they were last year at this point and it is anticipated it should continue going in this direction. Listing inventory is down about 11% but prices continue to stay relatively flat due to the large selection that is still available.
There is a feeling of renewed confidence throughout our valley both for the retail as well as the service sector. With the election now behind us, the HST gone and continued low interest rates, there appears to be a willingness to start shopping again whether it is for cars, furniture or real estate. And our Alberta friends are leading the way, great to have them back!
Cliff Shillington, Owner and Managing Broker, RE/MAX Kelowna Article featured in Okanagan Home Magazine