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Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Sales Continue to Accelerate
Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported September 2013 sales activity of all MLS® property types have accelerated since early this year, and are up 45% compared to last year at this time. The large percentage change belies the fact that home sales last month were near their 10-year average. This activity mirrors most regions of the province in exhibiting stronger consumer demand since the beginning of the year when sales levels were at a cyclical low.
“Current conditions suggest stable to modest downward pressure on home prices. Successful home sellers typically have a sharp pencil when setting their asking price as a result of competition amongst sellers.”
Mortgage interest rates have edged up, and with higher rates on the horizon, many potential home buyers are choosing to get into the market before they rise even higher. Economic growth in BC has remained relatively weak this year, with both employment growth and retails sales rising marginally over last year’s levels.
“Sales activity tends to vary among property types zone-by-zone due to the divergence in OMREB’s three market areas. 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 September improved by 45.4% compared to 2012 -- to 663 units from 456. Total residential sales for the month rose 48.4% to 586 units compared to 395 in September 2012.
New listings taken board-wide for the month rose 10.4% with 1,297 listings posted compared to 1,175 last September, while inventory was down 9.1% over this time last year -- to 8,314 from 9,143.
North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby): Overall sales for September in the North Zone improved 20.8% over last year at this time – to 151 units from 125 in 2012. Total residential sales for the month (132) were up 16.8% over last year (113).
Inventory for September saw a 7.0% decline to 2,325 from 2,501 in 2012, and the 285 new listings taken for the month dropped 5.0% from the 2012 level (300).
While the economy is expected to expand more rapidly next year (1.7% versus 2.6%), the hangover from a relatively weak 2013 will no doubt limit housing demand early next year.
If you are planning on selling your home, consult with a REALTOR® about how your property type is currently faring locally, and more significantly, how it compares to similar listings in your particular neighbourhood as home values vary based on type and location.
“With only a few good selling weeks to go before we see the end of 2013, if selling your home is important pricing is crucial,” Singbeil notes. “Serious sellers do recognize that their properties must be priced within the current market conditions in order to obtain a successful sale. It has been evident this year that properties priced well have been selling and this should continue.”