Smooth Start to New Year for Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market
Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported a smooth start to 2014 with January sales activity of all MLS® property types up 30% compared to the first month of 2013.
“Moving into 2014, the housing market in the Okanagan-Shuswap continues to strengthen and maintain a steady upward trend despite sales levels beginning at a cyclical low this time last year,” says Karen Singbeil, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the Shuswap. “All three zones in our Board area have seen moderate to strong gains in sales for various property types during relatively slow economic growth and lagging consumer confidence throughout BC.”
Total active listings continue to trend downward and inventories have declined more than 10% year-over-year for five consecutive months. While slowly moving towards more balanced market conditions, OMREB remains in buyer’s territory which can prove challenging for sellers and buyers alike.
“Proper pricing is still critical in our market and is the key to successful home sales,” Singbeil points out. “Savvy home sellers who are competitive and market conscious are sharpening their pencils when setting a list price, resulting in more transaction volumes in some Zones. This is most evident in the North Okanagan where the jump in home sales was the most significant during the past month.”
In other areas, some potential sellers are holding off listing their properties or have pulled out of the market if they are not willing to set a competitive price, and this has contributed to the decline in inventory.
“It is important to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points in order to fully understand the overall picture of the current residential market in our Board area,” she notes. “OMREB’s three market areas are diverse so sales activity tends to vary among property types zone-by-zone and month-by-month with ups and downs at different times and locations.”
The weak economy may constrain consumer demand in the beginning of the year but should increase as the BC economy gains momentum during the second half of 2014. Long-term interest rates have trended much lower than was expected to start the year and should be very accommodating to buying activity heading into the spring market. Home sales through OMREB are forecast to rise 1.8% this year.
Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): During January, overall sales in the Central Zone were up marginally (6.4%) to 233 units from 219 in 2013. Total residential sales for the month improved 4.1 % to 205 units compared to 197 last year at this time.
The 762 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month saw a nominal decline (1.0%) compared to 770 in 2013, while total inventory was reduced by 11.5% to 3,422 units from 3,866 last January.
How REALTORS® can help when buying or selling a home:
• BUYING OR SELLING – Home values vary based on type and location: It is important to consult with a REALTOR® about how your property type is currently faring locally, and how it compares to similar listings in your particular neighbourhood.
• SELLING – Pricing is crucial when listing your home: Serious sellers recognize that their properties must be priced within the current market conditions. Homes that are priced well are the ones that are selling, as has been evident this year.
• NEGOTIATING – For a successful purchase and sale: The professional negotiation skills of a REALTOR® bring buyers and sellers together for a successful sale.
New Listings 146
Current Inventory 623
Sell/Inv. Ratio 5.62%
Days to Sell 112
Average Price $208,720
Median Price $202,000
New Listings 90
Sell/Inv. Ratio 11.83%
Days to Sell 151
Average Price $338,925
Median Price $354,500
New Listings 71
Current Inventory 482
Sell/Inv. Ratio 3.53%
Days to Sell 360
Average Price $431,953
Median Price $180,000
New Listings 284
Sell/Inv. Ratio 10.66%
Days to Sell 102
Average Price $449,674
Median Price $432,500
Ratio of Sales vs Inventory 8.68%
Totals include variables in any given, due to preceding month's collapsed sales and deleted listings. e & oe