Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market Sees Balanced Conditions in April

May 5, 2014

Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market Sees Balanced Conditions in April

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported April sales activity of all MLS® property types were up 26% compared to the same month in 2013 and also showed a 26% improvement over March.

“The Okanagan-Shuswap housing market moved out of a buyer’s market into a balanced market during April following a steady growth in sales and declining inventory,” says Darcy Griffiths, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the North Okanagan. 

“Board-wide, sales statistics for the first four months of 2014 indicate recovery is well underway with rising consumer demand and balanced conditions emerging as we move into the warmer spring months,” Griffiths notes.  “With prices remaining stable and record low interest rates still available, buyers who have been sitting on the fence may be poised to enter the market, while sellers will be listing homes with more confidence.”

Griffiths cautions that buyers could be looking harder to find homes and may need to view properties in a higher price range to find similar value as the selection of entry level choices has been picked over and significantly reduced with the drop in active listings.  And, despite more balanced market conditions, the competition for buyers can still be a challenge for sellers if their properties are not priced well.

“Market conscious and competitive home sellers are sharpening their pencils and seeing results.  Being realistic about the market value of your home, setting an attractive list price right out of the gate and be willing to negotiate for the best offer are the keys to a successful sale.”

Sales activity tends to vary among property types zone-by-zone and month-by-month with ups and downs at different times and locations within OMREB’s three diverse market areas. It is important to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points in order to fully understand the overall picture of the current residential market in our Board area.

Board-wide (Peachland to Revelstoke):  Overall sales of all property types reported in OMREB’s Board area during April improved by 26.3% compared to 2013 -- to 783 units from 620.  Total residential sales for the month rose 27.7% to 714 units board-wide compared to 559 last April and were up 28.8% compared to 554 last month (March 2014).

The 1,793 new listings taken board-wide for the month were down 3.3% compared to the 1,855 listings posted in April 2013, while inventory (active listings) was down 7.8% over this time last year – to 7,838 from 8,498.         

Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country):  During April, overall sales in the Central Zone were up 27.1% to 516 units from 406 in 2013.  Total residential sales for the month improved 28.8% to 478 units compared to 371 last year at this time.  The sale of single family homes was up 21.3% over April 2013 (to 262 from 216).

The 1,015 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month saw a 4.5% dip compared to 1,063 in 2013, and total inventory was reduced by 10.1% to 4,066 units from 4,524 last April.

North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby):  Overall sales for April in the North Zone improved 15.0% to 161 units compared to 140 units sold last year at this time.  Total residential sales for the month were up 16.9% over last year with 152 units sold compared to 130.  Single family home sales (88 units) were up 22.2% compared to April 2013 (72).

While the 482 new listings taken for the month were up slightly (1.1%) from the 2013 level of 477, inventory for April saw a 5.8% dip to 2,194 from 2,329 last year.

Shuswap Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke):  During April, overall unit sales in the Shuswap-Revelstoke  Zone improved by 40.5%to 104 units compared to 74 in 2013.  Total residential unit sales for the month were up 44.8% over last year at 84 units compared to 58.  While the sale of single family homes rose 18.4% over April 2013 to 45 from 38.

New listings taken in the Zone were down 6.7% compared to last April to 294 units from 315.  Overall inventory dipped 4.1% to 1,571 from 1,638 during the same month in 2013.

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.

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board is comprised of 1,021 member REALTORS® and 93 real estate offices in the Southern Interior of BC.  The Board area covers the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan and Shuswap – from Peachland to Revelstoke.

For the most comprehensive source of all real estate listings, home buying and selling information, visit our national websites at:  www.realtor.ca and www.icx.ca.  To find out about the advantages of using a REALTOR®, check out www.howrealtorshelp.ca
All OMREB listings are published in the MLS® Real Estate Review and MLS® Commercial Review magazines available at all real estate offices and various locations in the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, the Shuswap and Revelstoke areas. For comprehensive Board-wide statistical information, please visit our local public site: 

To download a PDF of this media release, click here.

NOTE: Current and archived statistics for each Zone are available on this site. For this month's statistics package, click on the "Market Statistics" tab in the menu at the top of this webpage and choose "Current Year - 2014".

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