September 2012 Market Statistics

OkanaganShuswap Fall Housing Market Slows with

Tightening of Mortgage Rules

Kelowna, BC –
The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported September 2012 sales activity of all MLS® property types declined over the same month last year but improved compared to the first nine months of 2011 as the market slows moving into fall.

“While the Okanagan‐Shuswap market saw steady improvement for five consecutive months (April through August), overall sales were down 11% board‐wide compared to last September. The current drop in sales does not reflect the upward trend of the past several months. It seems to be more than the seasonal back‐to‐school slowdown typically seen in September, and although it could be partially attributed to the exceptionally good weather last month, sales activity appears to have been further impacted by the tighter mortgage rules introduced in July,” says Rob Shaw, an active REALTOR® in the North Zone and OMREB President.

“The elimination of the 30‐year amortization on government‐insured mortgages has cooled consumer demand as it has a direct impact on affordability, for new buyers in particular. As with prior interventions, BC home sales have sharply declined in the immediate months following the policy change, resulting in a 7% to 10% drop on average – over and above any anticipated seasonal fall‐offs. Reports of slowdowns in some major markets across Canada have also had a negative influence on consumer confidence. While the effects of the new mortgage rules could linger for a few months, we are optimistic that they won’t last long or continue to impact sales activity and decision‐making for buyers and sellers in an already challenging market.“

Overall unit sales in both the Central Okanagan and Shuswap were down 14% and 22% from September 2011 with single family residential the hardest hit at ‐33% and ‐25%, while sales in the North Okanagan were up 2% over last year with single family residential rising 28.6%. Year‐to‐date, total residential sales throughout the Board area improved over last year with the Central Okanagan and North Okanagan leading the way at 10% and 9%, followed by 5% in the Shuswap.

“Despite the current slowdown, the outlook in our Board area remains relatively positive in this tight market. Inventory is declining and new listings are down, but buyers still have a good property selection. They continue to be price sensitive and are taking their time to make decisions,” Shaw reports.

“It is important to note that OMREB has experienced a significant downturn for last five to six years (since 2007/08), has already been through a price correction over the past two or three years, and is starting to come out of the doldrums now. We are two years ahead of the current market dynamics in other parts of the province and country, so buyers should not anticipate any drastic price drops going forward. However, we do remain somewhat influenced by the Lower Mainland market, particularly if residents there are planning to sell and relocate to the Okanagan,” he explains.

“With the diversity in the OMREB Board area, there are monthly up and down fluctuations in each zone, depending on the community, housing type and price point. It is important for anyone thinking of buying or selling to ask their REALTOR® how their property type is currently faring in the overall market and, more significantly, in their particular neighbourhood. Working with a real estate professional to understand current local market conditions and to provide comparisons specific to your area is essential as home values vary based on type and location. Make sure your pricing is strategic as serious buyers are motivated by well‐priced properties with great curb appeal and room to negotiate. Buyers and sellers need to come together with realistic expectations if they are serious about closing the deal.”


Central Okanagan

Sales 59
New Listings 138
Current Inventory 844
Sell/Inv. Ratio 6.99%
Days to Sell 121
Average Price $216,781
Median Price $198,000

Sales 33
New Listings 78
Inventory 490
Sell/Inv. Ratio 6.73%
Days to Sell 86
Average Price $359,516
Median Price $336,000

Sales 16
New Listings 36
Current Inventory 753
Sell/Inv. Ratio 2.12%
Days to Sell 201
Average Price $284,395
Median Price $227,000

Sales 116
New Listings 318
Inventory 1,616
Sell/Inv. Ratio 7.18%
Days to Sell 110
Average Price $488,788
Median Price $447,250

Ratio of Sales vs Inventory 6.33%

North Okanagan

Sales 8
New Listings 20
Current Inventory 164
Sell/Inv. Ratio 4.88%
Days to Sell 153
Average Price $265,813
Median Price $200,000

Sales 19

New Listings 43
Current Inventory 238
Sell/Inv. Ratio 7.98%
Days to Sell 103
Average Price $257,858
Median Price $264,900

Sales 8

New Listings 33
Current Inventory 536
Sell/Inv. Ratio 1.49%
Days to Sell 268
Average Price $213,788
Median Price $163,000

Sales 63

New Listings 114
Current Inventory 715
Sell/Inv. Ratio 8.81%
Days to Sell 118
Average Price $347,837
Median Price $312,000

Ratio of Sales vs Inventory 6.87%

Totals include variables in any given, due to preceding month's collapsed sales and deleted listings. e & oe

For more information and up-to-date market stats, contact Amanda Westrheim at or call 250-863-9230 or email at

Amanda Westrheim

Amanda Westrheim

CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.
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