Update on the Economy
It would seem that the Canadian economy continues to improve, although mortgage rates have risen slightly, the effects of HST are yet to be felt and mortgage rules can now be regarded as more prudent.
The latest Stats Canada figures show unemployment as largely unchanged between February and March, and we would expect this to improve in the Okanagan during the next few months as we see the effects of summer tourism.
I am sure you have all read that some housing markets have completely rebounded to spring 2008 levels, sadly that cannot be said of the Central Okanagan area – see below.
We do have some really exciting things happening in the area, however, which will give the Okanagan a great boost.
Sparkling Hills, the spectacular new Spa situated overlooking Lake Okanagan, in the Predator Ridge area, is due to open its doors on April 30th, with the first bookings due May 20th 2010. With the international marketing they are undertaking for this facility, I expect it to have a very positive effect on our local economy.
The other good news is that Kal Tire, one of the Okanagan’s biggest International Companies is expanding its Vernon International Head Quarters.
Central Okanagan Statistics for April 2010
Type Total S. Fam Strata Lot Manuf
Apr 10 391 217 128 28 18
Mar 10 356 194 119 24 19
Apr 09 304 177 103 7 17
As you can see, yet again, there has been a positive increase in the number of sales during April 2010, which reflects the seasonality of sales in the Okanagan area.
Of the 128 Strata sales only 3 were over $600,000, and of the 217 single family home sales only 38 were over $600,000, 7 of which were over $1m and none over $2m.
These figures continue to show the market going in the right direction, and with the increase in viewing activity over the last two weeks, I expect to see this continue to rise further next month.
The Harmonized Sale Tax and Real Estate.
The federal Harmonized Sale Tax is scheduled to take effect in British Columbia on July 1, 2010. This is a tax that combines the provincial sales tax and federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) to create HST, with the rate currently set at 12%.
The tax will apply to real estate services provided by licensees. E.g. commissions, as well as certain trades.
For more information on how the new tax there are two web sites to look at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/hrmnztn/bc/menu-eng.html or www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/business/Consumer_taxes/harmonized_sales_tax/hst.html.
Any finally ...
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call or send me an e.mail.
Premier Canadian Properties
3A 3185 Via Centrale Kelowna, BC
Cell: (250) 864 1707
Office 250 765 4282
Fax: (250) 717 1889