Please bear in mind that while I receive my information on home sales through the Okanagan-Mainlie Real Estate Board MLS web site, I compile the numbers myself, so all figures are subject to verification.
Overall, 482 homes have sold from January to June 2010 compared to 452 homes sold in the same period in 2009. So this is good news. Even if the following statistics suck, at least the raw numbers are better than last year's.
So here are the latest monthly numbers: 97 Vernon homes sold in May, down from 133 homes in April. June sales dipped even lower to 68. Now, a lot of people like to crunch these numbers further, comparing the number of houses sold to those listed, but with a low number like 68 houses sold in June, who really needs to work out the absorption rate, or estimated time-on-market required to sell off current listing inventories?
No, simply stated, only 68 homes sold last month and that's all you need to say the market sucks.
Am I discouraged? No, no, not I! Disheartened yes, but not discouraged. If this is a hard time to sell a home then it's a great time to buy one. Mortgage rates are still low, low, low and sellers are motivated. So if you're selling your home right now, chances are you can drop your asking price, because your next home will likely drop in price as well.
I found something significant in the June home sales numbers. A total of 20 homes – 29% of the June total - sold for over $500,000. While the overall number of homes sold this year is declining, the number and percentage of homes sold for over $500,000 is rising. If this trend continues into July, the indication is that higher-end buyers are becoming more active while the middle-income buyers - those shopping in the $200K to $400K range - are becoming more cautious.
Stay tuned for July stats to see what my crystal ball of numbers tells us!