Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market Strongest in Eight Years
Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported sales activity of all MLS® property types in June 2015 as the strongest in eight years. Up 5% from the same month last year, the housing market has shown an 8% improvement year-to-date compared to the same six-month period in 2014.
The BC economy is currently the best performing in the country with population growth, reinvigorated consumer confidence and pent-up demand key drivers of the real estate market as it bounces back to 2007 sales levels in most areas of the province.
“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 to 94 last year at this time,” says Christopher Miller, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the Central Okanagan.
“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,” Miller notes.
Within OMREB’s three diverse markets – Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, and ShuswapRevelstoke areas – sales activity and prices, and supply and demand tends to vary among property types at different times and locations, with ups and downs experienced zone-by-zone and month-bymonth.
Year-to-date, the majority of the buyers are families who are moving up or empty nesters and retirees who are downsizing, with 60% coming from within our Board area, 15% from Alberta, and 10% from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island (January through May buyers survey results).
While the recreation markets in the Shuswap and North Okanagan are seeing little activity, low oil prices appear to have had little impact on residential or investment buyers from Alberta as many are purchasing homes in the Okanagan or Shuswap now in anticipation of retirement, or choosing to move here to live and continuing to work in Alberta.
Single family residential sales in the Central Okanagan were up 8% compared to last June while yearto-date totals improved by 13% over the same six months last year. Inventory continues to be tight for all types of housing due to high buyer demand and not enough new listings to fill the need.
Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): During June, overall sales of all property types in the Central Zone rose by 9.4% compared to 2014 with 663 units (up from 606). Year-to-date sales activity was up 11.8% compared to the same period last year (January through June) -- to 2,921 units from 2,613 in 2014.
Total residential sales for the month improved by 11.9% to 622 units compared to 556 in 2014. The sale of 313 single family homes rose 8.3% over last June (289), while apartment sales were up 18.7% (to 127 from 107), and townhouse sales up 14.9% (at 108 units from 94).
Average days to sell a single family home in the Central Okanagan in June was down to 59 days compared to 65 in 2014 while days to sell year-to-date averaged 64 days compared to 76 last year at this time. The 988 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month dipped slightly compared to 980 in 2014, while total inventory was reduced by 6.3% to 3,752 units from 4,002 last June.
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. The key to a successful sale is being realistic about the market value of your home and willing to negotiate for the best offer.
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 199
Current Inventory 655
Sell/Inv. Ratio 19.39%
Days to Sell 69
Average Price $253,916
Median Price $245,000
New Listings 95
Sell/Inv. Ratio 30.68%
Days to Sell 60
Average Price $363,076
Median Price $354,950
New Listings 76
Current Inventory 507
Sell/Inv. Ratio 4.93%
Days to Sell 191
Average Price $212,080
Median Price $217,500
New Listings 437
Sell/Inv. Ratio 26.28%
Days to Sell 59
Average Price $526,897
Median Price $492,000
Ratio of Sales vs Inventory 25.01%