January 2013 Market Statistics

Okanagan‐Shuswap Housing Market Cautious Going into 2013

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported January 2013 sales activity of all MLS® property types is down over the same month last year but showed an improvement over December.

“Last year, the housing market remained fairly stable for the Okanagan‐Shuswap with a good build‐up in sales in many segments for most of the year and only losing strength during the closing two months,” says Rob Shaw, an active REALTOR® in the North Zone and OMREB President. “This slowdown carried over into January which is typically not a strong month, and can be partially attributed to the dreary winter weather that keeps people indoors.”

Most B.C. markets saw a low level of activity or a decline in sales for the month, replicating the last quarter of 2012 when markets were impacted by the tightening of credit and wavering consumer confidence.

“Board‐wide, overall sales for the month were down 5% compared to last year at this time. Sales of all property types dropped by 32% in the North Okanagan and 3% in the Shuswap, but the Central Okanagan showed a 4% improvement over January 2012,” Shaw reports.

“Due to the divergence in our market areas, sales tend to vary among single family, townhouse and apartment properties month by month and zone by zone. During January, the Central Okanagan showed the greatest strength with a 16% bump in townhouse sales and 5% rise in the sale of single family residential homes. While the Shuswap saw a 5% dip in single family sales, the North Okanagan took a hit this month with a 40% decline in this segment.”

“We hope that the slowdown in sales activity in our Board area will be short‐term. While we expect
sluggish sales will likely continue in February, we are cautiously optimistic that the second quarter of
2013 will see an improvement in our housing market. Signs of renewed buyer interest are already
evident as open house traffic and calls for showings are on the rise,” says Shaw.

“People who need to make a move to satisfy lifestyle changes can’t afford to continue with a waitand‐
see approach indefinitely and will finally get off the fence. Serious buyers could be waiting for
the much anticipated transition from HST to PST/GST on April 1st, and will proceed with purchases
this Spring while there is still an attractive selection of properties to choose from and low interest
rates are ongoing.”

While affordability for first‐time buyers has been eroded with tougher mortgage rules, they are
reminded that the B.C. government’s bonus of up to $10,000 for first‐time buyers of new homes
continues for two more months. Interested purchasers of new construction are encouraged to see if
they qualify to take advantage of the one‐time incentive before it expires on April 1st along with the
HST: http://www2.gov.bc.ca > B.C. Home > Families & Residents > Taxes & Rebates > B.C. First‐Time New
Home Buyers’ Bonus.

“Active listings are trending downward as fewer new listings are being taken, and sales are picking up
with the level of demand,” Shaw notes. “While there is no longer an oversupply of inventory, days on
the market are up with listings taking 150 days on average Board‐wide to sell, so it is important for
sellers to be patient and note that they may need to list their properties for six months rather than

Pricing remains as important as ever for buyers and sellers. Home values vary based on location, so it
is essential to work with a real estate professional to understand current local conditions and to
provide comparisons specific to your area.

“To ensure your pricing is strategic, and has room for buyers to negotiate, it is important to ask a
REALTOR® how your property type is currently faring in the local market and, more significantly, in
your particular neighbourhood,” says Shaw.

Central Okanagan

Sales 37
New Listings 153
Current Inventory 700
Sell/Inv. Ratio 5.29%
Days to Sell 121
Average Price $232,707
Median Price $234,000

Sales 29
New Listings 104
Inventory 418
Sell/Inv. Ratio 6.94%
Days to Sell 155
Average Price $364,217
Median Price $326,500

Sales 13
New Listings 76
Current Inventory 601
Sell/Inv. Ratio 2.16%
Days to Sell 296
Average Price $251,746
Median Price $265,000

Sales 107
New Listings 299
Inventory 1,196
Sell/Inv. Ratio 8.95%
Days to Sell 108
Average Price $465,292
Median Price $401,000

Ratio of Sales vs Inventory 6.68%

North Okanagan

Sales 4
New Listings 18
Current Inventory 153
Sell/Inv. Ratio 2.61%
Days to Sell 148
Average Price $141,625
Median Price $134,500

Sales 6

New Listings 30
Current Inventory 197
Sell/Inv. Ratio 3.05%
Days to Sell 97
Average Price $237,000
Median Price $210,000

Sales 4

New Listings 15
Current Inventory 434
Sell/Inv. Ratio 0.92%
Days to Sell 323
Average Price $218,750
Median Price $115,000

Sales 22

New Listings 76
Current Inventory 534
Sell/Inv. Ratio 4.12%
Days to Sell 130
Average Price $317,160
Median Price $295,000

Ratio of Sales vs Inventory 3.16%

Totals include variables in any given, due to preceding month's collapsed sales and deleted listings. e & oe

For more information and up-to-date market stats, contact Amanda Westrheim at www.AOKHOMES.ca or call 250-863-9230 or email at Amanda.Westrheim@Century21.ca

Amanda Westrheim

Amanda Westrheim

CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.
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