Home foreclosures skyrocket in Kelowna
Home foreclosures are on the rise in B.C.'s Central Okanagan in recent months, but local real estate agents disagree about who might be losing their homes.
There are more than 170 court-ordered sale properties on the market in the Central Okanagan, more than 10 times more than three years ago.
Real estate agent Jason Neumann says according to his estimates, in the last 30 days alone 60 new foreclosures were put on the market, and he calls it a disturbing trend.
Neumann is worried the number of foreclosures will bring the overall market down, hurting anyone who wants to sell their home.
"What do you tell your sellers that are not in foreclosure that are now up against something they didn't see coming? It's one of those things where the bank is going to have to do what it's got to do to get it sold."
Neumann thinks many working class families are losing their homes, but not all real estate agents agree.
Elton Ash, the vice-president of Remax Realty in Western Canada, says most of the foreclosed properties are from people who were trying to flip homes during the hot market a few years back.
"People weren't able to achieve their goals in doing this and so they quit making payments," he said.
"The market in the Okanagan has really come to a standstill on that speculative investment front, and that is really what has been a major portion of the court-ordered sale thing that has increased so dramatically."
Ash says many Canadians are now buying vacation homes in the U.S., where prices are currently low, but he predicts prices will eventually rise in the U.S., and investment home buyers will again look to Kelowna.