Housing Market Sizzles

The real estate market in the Okanagan is running parallel to the weather – hot, hot, hot.

Sales activity of all MLS properties throughout the Okanagan in June was the strongest it has been in eight years.

According to the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board, sales in June were up five per cent compared to the same month a year ago, while year-to-date sales are up eight per cent over the first six months of 2014.

The province's robust economy, population growth and reinvigorated consumer confidence are seen as key contributors as the real estate market bounces back to 2007 sales levels.

“Strong consumer demand in the Okanagan-Shuswap has pushed home sales to an eight-year high and reduced days to sell to 72 days on average compared with 94 last year at this time,” said OMREB president Christopher Miller.

“Well-positioned and well-presented homes are continuing to sell quickly in the OMREB market. The robust demand is keeping inventories in check, with some segments experiencing relative shortages and sellers’ market conditions, particularly the lower priced detached units."

To date a majority of buyers are families moving up or empty nesters and retirees who are downsizing. Most buyers (60 per cent) are within the board area while 15 per cent are from Alberta and 10 per cent from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

Single family sales are up eight per cent in the Central Okanagan compared with last year and up 13 per cent over the first six months of 2014 while in the Shuswap, single family home sales are up nine per cent over last year and 17 per cent over the first six months of 2014.

The only area to see a decline in sales was the North Okanagan. That region saw a 12 per cent dip in single family sales compared with June a year ago and a nine per cent decline in year-to-date sales.

A spike in sales a year ago when the North Okanagan outpaced other markets may have attributed to the current lack of product and demand.

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Amanda Westrheim

Amanda Westrheim

CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.
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