Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market Continues to Strengthen
Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported March 2015 sales activity of all MLS® property types improved 21% compared to the same month in 2014 and saw a 14% improvement year-to-date over the first quarter last year (January through March).
“The Okanagan-Shuswap market continued to show strong growth in March with sales being driven by confident local buyers rather than recreation and retirement buyers from Alberta where the economy has taken a downturn. Days on market for all property types in our Board area continues to improve and is now at 103 days on average compared to 122 last year at this time,” says Christopher Miller, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the Central Okanagan.
“The first quarter sales for 2015 in the OMREB are at a much stronger level compared to the same period in 2014. An increase in demand has outpaced supply in some segments that have edged firmly into seller’s market conditions. While selection has been reduced with the ongoing decline in inventory, the price of single family homes is steady and strong in most areas with modest gains seen in some locations where supply has tightened.”
Sales activity and prices, and supply and demand within OMREB’s three diverse market areas tends to vary among property types at different times and locations with ups and downs experienced zone-byzone and month-by-month.
“The Central Okanagan led the way in March with single family residential sales improving 30% compared to 2014,” Miller reports. “Inventory is beginning to rise but new listings are not yet meeting the market demand, and some buyers are still waiting to find the ideal property to purchase.”
In the Shuswap, single family home sales were up 16% compared to last March. Homes in the lower end of the market are moving quickly but overall inventory is still high so a buyer’s market prevails.
The North Okanagan saw a 30% decline over this time last year when the Zone experienced an unusually high spike (73%) in home sales over 2013. The market is more balanced but demand has tapered and inventory has remained stable despite new listings.
“While desirable, well-positioned and well-presented homes are in demand and selling quickly, it is important to consult with a professional REALTOR® to look at trends within property types and different price points in order to fully understand the current residential market,” notes Miller.
Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): During March, overall sales of all property types in the Central Zone were up 28.7% -- to 516 units from 401 in 2014. Year-to-date sales activity was up 23.4% compared to the first quarter last year (to 1,108 units from 898).
Total residential sales for the month jumped by 33.0% to 476 units compared to 358 in 2014. The sale of 250 single family homes saw a 30.2% improvement over the 192 in March 2014, while townhouse sales improved by 43.9% (to 82 from 57), and apartment sales were up 41.8% (to 95 from 67). Average days to sell a single family home in the Central Okanagan in March was down to 63 days compared to 71 in 2014, while days to sell year-to-date (January through March) averaged 74 days compared to 89 last year at this time. The 1,204 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month saw a 28.5% increase compared to 937 in 2014, and total inventory was reduced by 8.2% to 3,549 units from 3,864.
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 208
Current Inventory 507
Sell/Inv. Ratio 16.67%
Days to Sell 76
Average Price $257,459
Median Price $240,000
New Listings 137
Sell/Inv. Ratio 22.28%
Days to Sell 88
Average Price $366,871
Median Price $366,750
New Listings 122
Current Inventory 476
Sell/Inv. Ratio 4.20%
Days to Sell 162
Average Price $320,215
Median Price $220,500
New Listings 495
Sell/Inv. Ratio 22.50%
Days to Sell 63
Average Price $496,539
Median Price $470,750
Ratio of Sales vs Inventory 20.87%
Totals include variables in any given, due to preceding month's collapsed sales and deleted listings. e & oe