For Immediate Release: June 4, 2015
Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market Steady and Driven by Local Buyers
Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported sales activity of all MLS® property types remained strong in May 2015 as confident local buyers continue to drive sales. While up marginally (1.6%) from the same month last year and rising 12% over April sales, the market showed a 9% improvement year-to-date compared to the same five-month period in 2014.
“Despite a minor slowdown in some areas, residential sales in the Okanagan-Shuswap were steady in May and days on market continued to improve,” says Christopher Miller, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the Central Okanagan.
“Overall, spring sales activity has been brisk to date,” Miller reports. “Well-positioned and wellpresented homes are in demand and selling quickly in all markets within our Board area, and the houses sold were on market an average of 82 days during May compared to 106 last year at this time.”
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. While Alberta home buyers and retirees seem to have been only modestly affected by the recent decline in oil prices and continue to participate in 10% to 15% of home sales in the region – especially in the Central Okanagan -- the North Okanagan and Shuswap markets have experienced some pullback in activity from these segments.
“Single family residential sales in the Central Okanagan remained at the same level as last May while year-to-date totals improved by 15% over the same period last year,” Miller explains. “Inventory continues to be tight for all types of housing, resulting from high buyer demand and not enough new listings to fill the need.”
In the Shuswap, single family home sales for the month improved by 50% compared to May 2014 and saw a 20% improvement year-to-date as local buyers continue to snap up homes and drain inventory in the high $200,000 to low $300,000 range. Sales of high-end recreational and retirement properties have stalled with the absence of Alberta buyers.
Despite rallying in April, the North Okanagan saw an 11% slip in single family residential sales during May compared to 2014, resulting in an 8% decline year-to-date. The softer market may be attributed in part to oil patch workers who live in the area and work in Alberta, and are facing employment uncertainty and financial instability.
“It is more important than ever to consult with a REALTOR® in order to fully understand the current residential market, and to look at trends within property types and varying price points in different neighbourhoods,” Miller notes.
Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): During May, overall sales of all property types in the Central Zone were up minimally (0.5%) compared to 2014 but remained strong at 597 units (up from 594). Year-to-date sales activity was up 12.6% compared to the same period last year (January through May) -- to 2,259 units from 2,007 in 2014.
Total residential sales for the month improved by 4.6% to 570 units compared to 545 in 2014. The sale of 291 single family homes remained at the same level as last May (293), while apartment sales were up 25.8% (to 122 from 97), and townhouse sales remained steady at 95 units (same as in 2014). Average days to sell a single family home in the Central Okanagan in May was down to 56 days compared to 74 in 2014 while days to sell year-to-date averaged 65 days compared to 79 last year at this time.
The 1,104 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month saw a 3.5% dip compared to 1,144 in 2014, and total inventory was reduced by 7.3% to 3,781 units from 4,078 last May.
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 219
Current Inventory 627
Sell/Inv. Ratio 19.46%
Days to Sell 75
Average Price $267,118
Median Price $236,000
New Listings 142
Sell/Inv. Ratio 24.36%
Days to Sell 81
Average Price $355,523
Median Price $342,000
New Listings 70
Current Inventory 497
Sell/Inv. Ratio 3.42%
Days to Sell 156
Average Price $266,435
Median Price $250,400
New Listings 498
Sell/Inv. Ratio 23.99%
Days to Sell 56
Average Price $503,985
Median Price $471,250
Ratio of Sales vs Inventory 20.23%