2017 saw 356 homes sell at or above the million dollar mark in the Central Okanagan. That's up from 328 in 2016 and 144 in 2015. We expect even more million dollar homes and listings for 2018 with housing prices continuing to rise.
But the story that doesn’t get told is the amount of million dollar properties that never sell.
Based off of the numbers from the MLS in the Central Okanagan, there were 1,326 homes on the market in 2017 listed at over a million dollars, yet only 356 of those sold. That’s a measly 26.8% sale rate!
327 of these million plus homes were withdrawn by home owners due to their failure to sell, and 329 of those 1,326 listings were on the market so long, they eventually expired.
314 are still currently active on the market and carried over into 2018. It appears it will get worse before it gets better, here's why:
1. With the new mortgage rules, it will be harder for anyone who needs financing to get as much as they could have in 2017. January 1st saw the new “Stress Test” rules come into affect.
2. Interest rates are on the rise. And with some of the major lending institutions raising their rates just in the last week, it means people will be qualifying for and can afford less of a mortgage amount.
3. Condo’s and townhouses are being built in the Okanagan in staggering numbers, eerily reminiscent to the boom in 2005 - 2007 before the crash. If a buyer has the option on an older house needing repairs/upgrades, or can no longer afford that million dollar property, a new townhome or condo with a lake view starts to look pretty good.
So how does someone overcome the million dollar housing glut?
There are 3 things that you can do if you are trying to sell your home and aren’t having any luck:
1. Buyer search price. Did you know many home searching websites have cut off points in the search? If your home is currently listed at $1,205,000, you are leaving out anyone searching up to $1,200,000. That $5,000 difference could prevent the right people from even knowing your property exists! Your Realtor can help you determine the best price to maximize searches.
2. Competition. Ask your Realtor to find all the homes in your area that you are competing with. Are you at the high end of similar homes in your search area? Knowing who you are competing with has big implications. People will look at the cheaper house if they feel all things are fairly equal. So know who your competition is.
3. Clean, upgraded and functional. When people think of a million dollar home, they think of a ready to move in house with granite countertops and hardwood floors, a show home kitchen and an ensuite you can lose yourself in. But that is not always the case. Making sure you have de-cluttered your house, upgraded the kitchen with relatively newer appliances and lighting, and have every room utilized effectively can be the difference between someone making an offer or walking out of your house questioning why it’s priced so high. Purchasing new kitchen appliances is typically well worth the return on investment when selling. I have never been to a showing where the kitchen wasn’t a key selling point, unless it was a fixer upper and the buyers were already prepared to do the renovations.
People are looking to buy in the Okanagan. Housing prices and quantities of sales have shown that. But it doesn’t guarantee your house gets sold. If you are thinking of selling or purchasing a million dollar property, contact the Stettner's. The details matter.
From Photo: 1602 Mission Hill Road. Josh sold this house on January 2nd, 2018 in just 22 days for $1,129,000.
Get Ron and Josh working for you. We are just an email, text or phone call away!