Steady trends in the housing market

Okanagan Market TrendsThe Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) has reported an increase in sales activity across all property types in the Okanagan-Shuswap housing market, in comparison to this time last year.

Board-wide territory encompassing Peachland to Revelstoke saw a 17.3% increase in overall sales for the month of November (509 units in 2013 from 434 in 2012) while total residential sales for the same month rose 20.3% (456 units from 379).

OMREB's three market areas include the Central Zone from Peachland to Lake Country, the North Zone from Predator Ridge to Enderby, and the Shuswap Zone from Salmon Arm to Revelstoke. As a result of these diverse markets, sales activity varies significantly among property types zone-by-zone and month-to-month.

Overall sales for the month of November in all three zones either increased or remained the same compared to the same month in 2012, while inventory in all three zones has dropped.

“During the past seven months, the housing market in the Okanagan and Shuswap has improved as increased consumer demand combined with fewer homes for sale has led to more balanced conditions,” says Karen Singbeil, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the Shuswap area.

A steady upward trend has continued from earlier this year when sales levels were low, however there has been a slight dip in consumer demand from the month of October to November.

This can be explained by the typical cool down moving into the winter months and holiday season, coupled with economic factors including limited job growth that has affected the overall housing market across the province.

Over the next several months consumer confidence could continue to dampen though. Short term interest rates are expected to remain unchanged, but buyers are expected to face rising long-term fixed mortgage rates and less flexible lenders.

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