Market Update

Read below for August 2013 real estate statistics direct from our Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board President ...

September 5, 2013

Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Sales for August Return to 10-Year Average

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported August 2013 sales activity of all MLS® property types improved over the same month last year with levels returning to the 10-year average as consumers continue to show more confidence in the market.

“Mirroring the upward trend in home buying activity and steady year-over-year increase in sales throughout the province since March, total residential unit sales for the Okanagan-Shuswap during August showed the best numbers for the month since 2007,” says Karen Singbeil, an active REALTOR® in the Shuswap Zone and OMREB President.
“While some segments in our Board area are seeing a turnaround in consumer demand compared to last year at this time, the current unit sales are merely back to the 10-year average showing moderate activity after several slow years. Overall market conditions are still stabilizing. Relatively weak economic conditions globally continue to be a bit of a drag on any upward momentum.”

Sales activity tends to vary among property types zone-by-zone due to the divergence in OMREB’s three market areas.  “Although August saw a noticeable improvement in the North Okanagan, the Central Okanagan and Shuswap experienced more modest gains. Unit sales may be stronger but to really understand the overall picture of the current residential market, you have to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points,” Singbeil cautions.

Board-wide (Peachland to Revelstoke):  Overall sales of all property types reported in OMREB’s Board area during August improved by 14.2% compared to 2012 -- to 718 units from 629. Total residential sales for the month rose 15.9% to 648 units compared to 563 in August 2012 – beating the 10-year average of 637 units sold (2003 through 2012) and the strongest unit sales in six years (since 904 units in 2007, with the second highest showing being 586 in 2009). 

New listings taken board-wide for the month dipped marginally (0.3%) with 1,367 listings posted compared to 1,371 last August, while inventory was down 8.9% over this time last year -- to 8,760 from 9,618.

Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country):  During August, overall sales in the Central Zone were up 12.7% to 445 units from 395 in 2012.  Total residential sales for the month improved 14.0% to 408 units compared to 358 last year – above the 10-year average of 390 for this zone and the highest level since August 2007 (554). 

Although the 858 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month dipped slightly (0.8%) compared to 851 in 2012, inventory was reduced by 10.7% to 4,540 units from 5,082 last August.

North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby):  Overall sales for August in the North Zone improved 21.5% over last year at this time – to 181 units from 149 in 2012.  Total residential sales for the month (165) were up 22.2% over last year (135), meeting the 10-year average of 160 units for August and the strongest since 2007 (226).

While inventory for August saw a 7.9% decline to 2,428 from 2,637 in 2012, the 300 new listings taken for the month dropped 6.8% from the 2012 level (322).

Shuswap Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke):  During August, overall unit sales in the Shuswap-Revelstoke Zone were up 8.2% to 92 units compared to 85 in 2012.  Total residential sales for the month saw a 7.2% improvement with 75 units compared to 70 last year – slightly below the 10-year average of 87 for August but the highest seen in four years (since 78 in 2009).

Although new listings taken in the Zone rose 5.6% over last August (to 207 from 196), overall inventory dipped 5.8% to 1,783 from 1,893 during the same month in 2012.

“There is still a good selection of properties and opportunities to get into a home or recreation property at an attractive price in the Okanagan- Shuswap,” Singbeil notes.  “As buyers with pre-approved mortgages are being nudged into the market by the continuation of relatively low mortgage rates, the marked increase in demand and consumer confidence could lead to a decline in seller pull-back and see more houses being listed,” Singbeil says.

"Home values vary based on type and location, so it is important to ensure your pricing is appropriate for the market area, and has room for buyers to negotiate.  Serious sellers recognize that their properties must be priced within the current market conditions in order to obtain a successful sale.  It is evident that well-priced properties attract attention and should sell.”

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