Market Update from Board President

OkanaganShuswap Housing Market Steady but cooling in November

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported November 2013 sales activity of all MLS® property types are up 17% compared to the same month in 2012, continuing the steady upward trend begun earlier this year when sales levels were at a cyclical low. While residential home sales for November improved year‐over‐year in most BC markets, consumer demand has edged back compared to October. A cool down is typically seen moving into winter and the holiday season, but the sluggish economy and anemic job growth have already begun to take some of the steam out of the housing market across the province, and could dampen consumer confidence over the next few months. “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. “However, we remain firmly in buyers’ market territory, which can be very challenging for sellers and buyers alike. To be competitive, successful home sellers typically have sharp pencils when setting their asking price. While short‐term interest rates are expected to remain unchanged, buyers could face less flexible lenders and the risk of rising long‐term fixed mortgage rates going forward.” OMREB’s three market areas are diverse. 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. Boardwide (Peachland to Revelstoke): Overall sales of all property types reported in OMREB’s Board area during November improved by 17.3% compared to 2012 ‐‐ to 509 units from 434. Total residential sales for the month rose 20.3% to 456 units compared to 379 in November 2012. New listings taken board‐wide for the month dropped 3.8% with 864 listings posted compared to 898 last November, while inventory (active listings) was down 9.8% over this time last year – to 7,131 from 7,904. North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby): Overall sales for November in the North Zone remained the same as last year at this time (109 units). However, total residential sales for the month dipped 3.3% over last year ‐ to 89 from 92. Inventory for November saw a 9.0% drop to 1,966 from 2,160 in 2012, and the 175 new listings taken for the month dipped 13.8% from the 2012 level of 203.  

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.

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