Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market Sweats it Out in the Heat of Summer

August 6, 2013

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported July 2013 sales activity of all MLS® property types improved over the same month last year but was down slightly from June.

“Following a fairly flat first quarter, the Okanagan-Shuswap has experienced a steady year-over-year increase in sales during the past four months. While some segments are heating up and seeing a turnaround in consumer demand compared to last year at this time -- echoing stronger activity province-wide -- overall market conditions are still stabilizing in our Board area.” says Karen Singbeil, an active REALTOR® in the Shuswap Zone and OMREB President.

“July is typically slower than June, and even more so this year, as some areas have seen more impact than others from the Alberta floods – especially the recreation market in the Shuswap and the investment condo market in the Central Okanagan – segments that have also been affected by tighter credit conditions.”

Due to the divergence in OMREB’s three market areas, sales activity tends to vary among property types zone-by-zone, Singbeil cautions. “Although sales activity during July saw a noticeable improvement in some areas and by property type, the Central Okanagan experienced more modest gains, and the North

Okanagan saw a slight decline which is more typical of the summer months. Prices within some property types, such as recreational waterfront in the Shuswap, have seen significant adjustments. While unit sales may be increasing and showing a positive perspective, you have to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points to really understand the overall picture of the current residential market.”

Board-wide (Peachland to Revelstoke):  Overall sales of all property types reported in OMREB’s Board area during July improved by 12.4% compared to 2012 -- to 716 units from 637. Total residential sales for the month rose 12.5% to 640 units compared to 569 in July 2012.
New listings taken board-wide for the month dipped 3.5% with 1,472 listings posted compared to 1,525 last July, and inventory was down 8.8% over this time last year -- to 8,976 from 9,846.

Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country):  During July, overall sales in the Central Zone were up 13.0% to 471 units from 417 in 2012.  Year-to-date, unit sales for January through July saw a modest improvement (6.0%) with 2,621 compared to 2,471 units during the same period last year.

Total residential sales for the month improved 15.2% to 432 units compared to 375 last year.  The 915 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month showed a slight dip compared to 2012 (down 0.3% from 918), bringing inventory down 11.4% to 4,611 units from 5,203 last July.

North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby):  Overall sales for July in the North Zone showed a nominal decline over last year at this time – down 2.7% to 144 units from 148 in 2012.  Year-to-date, sales were on par with the first seven months of 2012, dipping slightly (1.5%) -- to 868 from 881. 

Total residential sales for the month were down 3.8% over last year to 128 units from 133.  While inventory for July dropped 7.2% to 2,507 from 2,702 in 2012, the 344 new listings taken for the month declined 9.2% from the 2012 level (379).

Shuswap Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke):  During July, overall unit sales in the Shuswap-Revelstoke Zone improved by 40.9% at 100 units compared to 71 in 2012.  Year-to-date, 2013 sales (January through July) were up 8.4% compared to last year at this time – to 463 from 427.

Total residential sales for the month saw a 31.2% improvement with 80 units compared to 61 last year.  While new listings taken in the Zone dropped 6.7% over last July (to 211 from 226), overall inventory dipped 4.4% to 1,849 from 1,934 during the same month in 2012.

“Now is a great time to buy in the Okanagan-Shuswap while there is still a good selection of properties and opportunities to get into a home or recreation property at an attractive price.” Singbeil says.

If you are planning on listing 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. 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.”

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board is comprised of 1,019 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:  www.omreb.com

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 - 2013".

For more information:

Karen Singbeil, OMREB President   (Board-wide statistical information) 
karen@shuswap4sale.com   (250) 836-2223

Cameron Muir, Chief Economist, BCREA , or Brendon Ogmundson, Economist (Province-wide statistical information)
cmuir@bcrea.bc.ca      (604) 742-2780       /      bogmundson@bcrea.ca    (604) 742-2796

Jan Bauman, OMREB Communications
jbauman@omreb.com   (250) 491-4560, Ext 224

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