Slow Start to New Year for Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market
Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported January 2015 sales activity of all MLS® property types declined 15% compared to the same month in 2014 – a slow start to the new year.
“While demand typically slows in January, Okanagan-Shuswap home sales declined more than expected after the steady upward trend and solid end to 2014,” says Darcy Griffiths, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the North Okanagan. “The additional slowdown can be attributed to the record snow falls blanketing our Board area as the new year began, and the downturn in the Alberta oil patch negatively impacting consumer confidence.”
Albertans may be pulling back from second home purchases for investment, recreation and retirement, and local households relying on work in the oil industry are waiting to see what happens next, Griffiths notes. “However, we remain cautiously optimistic and are hopeful the lower lending rates will provide some incentive and boost buyer activity as 2015 unfolds.”
Market conditions in the OMREB area have deteriorated to the margin between a buyer’s (more supply than demand) and balanced (stable for both buyers and sellers) market in January from the cusp between a balanced and seller’s (more demand than supply) market at year end, depending on the Zone and property type.
“The Central Okanagan took the softest hit in January with total residential sales dipping 5% and single residential declining 16%, while apartment sales improved by 12% compared to 2014,” Griffiths reports. “The North Okanagan saw a 12% drop in total residential sales and single family residential sales were down 18% compared to this time last year. In the Shuswap, total residential sales dropped 15% while single family residential sales declined by 42% compared to January 2014.”
Experiencing ups and downs at different times and locations, sales activity and prices within OMREB’s three diverse market areas tends to vary among property types zone-by-zone and month-by-month, Griffiths explains. The price of single family homes is steady and strong in most areas with modest gains seen in some locations where supply has tightened.
The selection of single family homes has been reduced with an ongoing decline in inventory and new listings, especially for those priced below $500,000. The shortage of entry level homes has pushed buyers into purchases in the next level up, or into the condo and townhouse market where there is more value in their price range.
“In order to fully understand the overall picture of the current residential market, it is important to consult with a professional REALTOR® to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points,” Griffiths says.
Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): During January, overall sales in the Central Zone were down 7.3% -- to 215 units from 232 in 2014. Total residential sales for the month dipped by 4.9% to 194 units compared to 204 in 2014. The sale of 88 single family homes saw a 16.2 % drop from the 105 in January 2014, while apartment sales improved by 11.8% (to 38 from 34).
The 720 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month saw a nominal decrease (5.5%) compared to 762 in 2014, and total inventory was reduced by 14.7% to 2,919 units from 3,422.
North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby): Overall sales for January in the North Zone declined 28.8% to 84 units compared to 118 units sold the previous year at this time. Total residential sales for the month were down 11.8% from last year with 75 units sold compared to 85. Single family home sales (36 units) dropped by 18.2% compared to January 2014 (44).
The 235 new listings taken for the month were down by 20.3% from the 2014 level of 295. Inventory for January saw a 6.2% dip to 1,653 from 1,763 in January of 2014.
”The competition for buyers can still be a challenge for sellers if properties are not priced attractively from the start,” Griffiths warns. “The key to a successful sale is being realistic about the market value of your home and willing to negotiate for the best offer.”
Whether you are selling or buying a home, a professional REALTOR® who is familiar with the area and your particular neighbourhood can assist with searching, listing, negotiating and closing.
How REALTORS® can help when buying or selling a home in the Okanagan-Shuswap:
- BUYING OR SELLING – Home values vary based on type and location: Talk to 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 144
Current Inventory 470
Sell/Inv. Ratio 8.09%
Days to Sell 110
Average Price $226,470
Median Price $203,750
New Listings 86
Sell/Inv. Ratio 12.62%
Days to Sell 119
Average Price $345,128
Median Price $331,500
New Listings 60
Current Inventory 391
Sell/Inv. Ratio 2.81%
Days to Sell 226
Average Price $176,491
Median Price $189,999
New Listings 272
Sell/Inv. Ratio 10.15%
Days to Sell 89
Average Price $488,132
Median Price $462,500
Ratio of Sales vs Inventory 10.20%
Totals include variables in any given, due to preceding month's collapsed sales and deleted listings. e & oe