Charlie Veaudry

Serving you with passion!

I can't think of a better way to spend a cold February than participating in the 56th annual Vernon Winter Carnival! The first carnival as we know it was in February of 1961, but winter carnival celebrations go back as far as 1893 in the Okanagan when Kal Lake was known as Long Lake. Jopo and Jopette first appeared in 1965, and the carnival buttons have been circulated every year since 1960. Do you know anyone with the whole collection? Check out this great story in last Friday's Vernon Morning Star. 


Hopefully you saw the hot air balloon event and attended the parade, but did you know that you can participate in this historical community event until February 14th? What better way to spend Valentine's Day than at a Argentine Tango dance class with Ruth McGrath, or a Toonie & a Tin Skate?


Leading up to the weekend, Wednesday the 10th, you can participate in a mysterious Theatre Dinner, or a Folk Music Variety Show put on by the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society where you can hear me in my bluegrass band, Canadian Whitewater.


Thursday, February 11th, has lots going on. From a Fancy Nancy Tea Party for the kids to a Candlelight Dinner at Soverign Lakes, or just for the ladies, meet downtown for food, drink and shopping with Unwined Downtown.


If you missed the Theatre Dinner on Wednesday, it's being offered again on Friday (or if you just had so much fun that you want to go again) or maybe you are feeling like you want to be up on Silver Star for the Over the Hill Downhill race! If being out late with friends is on the adgenda, Try the Mardi Party at Elk's Hall.


The O'Keefe Family Treasurehunt is something for the whole family on Saturday, or you can travel back even further in time to join the Medieval Carneval to taste some mead and have your fortune told! Or if you want to get your toes tapping, check out the 7th Annual Winter Carnival Blues Festival. 


Most of the above links will offer details of the events as well as how to purchase tickets. If you are looking for general information about the carnival, check their website here. Most of all, have fun, but also make sure you aren't caught without a pin and thrown in jail! 

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Wow! We have to look all the way back to 2007 to see a January like we just had. Sales of single family homes in January this year are up 58% over January last year and have not been this high in 9 years! With just 7 months of inventory on the market, we have not seen January inventory this low since 8 years ago in 2008. An early look at February shows that month-to-date sales are up 40% over last year! Is this the year for the North Okanagan real estate market to really shine? These early indicators could be telling us to watch for a Seller’s market in 2016.


Sales - The total sales for the 12 months ending January 2016 was at 960, down 5% from the 1,013 for the 12 months ending January 2015. With the BC economy continuing to lead the country, our North Okanagan region may be poised for some stable recovery if January sales for this year are any leading indicator.


Inventory - The average monthly inventory of single family homes rose again for the second time in 5 years, a response to slowing sales. The average monthly inventory rose 2% to 555 for the last 12 months ending in January 2016 compared to 543 for the same period in 2015. Again, that can all change quickly if the trend set by January sales gathers steam.


Prices - Despite slower sales and rising inventory, prices continue to edge up and we are seeing continued upward pressure on average median prices. At $355,339, average median prices for the last 12 months ending in January 2016 rose 3.5% from 12 months ending in January 2015 and was up 8.7% from 2012 when we reached the lowest average median price of the last 9 years. With price being one of the last indicators affected by changes in sales and inventory, it will be interesting to watch what happens to prices if sales continue to climb in 2016.


Absorption Rate - The rate at which our inventory is being absorbed by sales continues to fall over the short term. The average absorption rate of 14.10% over the 12 month period ending January 2016 dropped below last year’s figure of 15.17% for the fifth time this year. However, it was higher than last months 12 month average of 13.73%, another encouraging sign. Also, at the end of January 2016, the inventory dropped to where there are now only 7 months of available homes on the market, down 3 from last month. This is still considered a balanced market but moving towards a Seller’s market.


It seems that we are starting the year pretty much on a high note. With the indicators of higher sales, lower inventory AND higher prices, it is looking like 2016 could be a better year for the North Okanagan real estate market.


For Buyers and Sellers it remains important to look carefully at comparable sales of similar homes in areas similar to where your home is located. That is our only valid indicator of home values in this contradicting market. 2016 will be an interesting year to watch and I will keep you posted as it unfolds.


If you have any questions about the market, please feel free to contact me at any time. You can go to my stats page here to view the graphs and full detailed data.

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