Stronger Finish for Okanagan‐Shuswap Housing Market in 2013
Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported a strong finish to 2013 with December sales activity of all MLS® property types up 44% compared to the same month in 2012 ‐‐ posting the strongest unit sales for the month of December since 2009.
“The housing market in the Okanagan‐Shuswap continued the steady upward trend begun earlier in the year when sales levels were at a cyclical low, and ended 2013 on a fairly strong note with a 13% improvement in overall sales year‐to‐date compared to 2012,” says Karen Singbeil, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the Shuswap.
“We are pleased to have surpassed forecasted expectations for sales growth in year‐over‐year residential sales for our Board area, and experienced moderate to strong gains for various property types in each Zone ‐‐ despite 2013 being the second consecutive year of relatively slow economic growth and moderate consumer confidence in the province. Competitive home sellers appear to be more market conscious and are sharpening their pencils when setting their list price, which has led to more transaction volumes.”
OMREB’s three market areas are diverse, Singbeil notes. “As a result, sales activity tends to vary among property types zone‐by‐zone and month‐by‐month with ups and downs at different times and locations. In order to fully understand the overall picture of the current residential market in our Board area it important to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points.”
Although total active listings have trended lower over the past few years and reduced supply, market conditions in the Okanagan‐Shuswap remain in buyer’s territory which can be very challenging for sellers and buyers alike. While short‐term interest rates are expected to remain low and accommodating to consumer demand, buyers could face less flexible lenders and the risk of rising long‐term fixed mortgage rates going forward, especially as the U.S. economy strengthens.
The total level of employment has remained unchanged and will likely limit consumer demand to its current pace, perhaps with some moderation over the next quarter. However, stronger demand in the second half of 2014 should create more balanced market conditions in the Okanagan‐Shuswap.
Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): During December, overall sales in the Central Zone were up 33.2% to 253 units from 190 in 2012. Total residential sales for the month improved 28.1 % to 210 units compared to 164 last year at this time. The 341 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month saw an 11.2% decline compared to 384 in 2012, while total inventory was reduced by 12.7% to 3,208 units from 3,676 last December.
Overall sales at year‐end (January through December) improved by 13.6% in 2013 ‐‐ rising to 4,429 units valued at $1.7 billion from 3,900 at $1.5 billion in 2012. Total residential sales at year‐end rose 14.3% to 4,016 units over 3,514 last year. Single family residential sales for the Zone were up 18.1% for the year compared to the number of units sold during 2012 (to 2,164 from 1,832).
How REALTORS® can help when buying or selling a home:
- BUYING OR SELLING – Home values vary based on type and location: It is important to consult with 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 151
Current Inventory 565
Sell/Inv. Ratio 7.96%
Days to Sell 110
Average Price $220,504
Median Price $213,750
New Listings 51
Sell/Inv. Ratio 8.40%
Days to Sell 132
Average Price $307,441
Median Price $294,500
New Listings 23
Current Inventory 456
Sell/Inv. Ratio 4.82%
Days to Sell 193
Average Price $250,614
Median Price $222,500
New Listings 137
Sell/Inv. Ratio 12.57%
Days to Sell 96
Average Price $474,382
Median Price $424,450
Ratio of Sales vs Inventory 10.96%
Totals include variables in any given, due to preceding month's collapsed sales and deleted listings. e & oe