December 2011 Stats: OKANAGAN-SHUSWAP HOUSING MARKET ENDS YEAR ON A STRONG NOTE
Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported December 2011 sales activity of all MLS® property types improved over the same month last year as the housing market continued to normalize with prices stabilizing and inventory on the decline at year end.
As 2011 came to a close, overall sales activity in the recovering Okanagan-Shuswap market continued to strengthen with moderate but steady improvement during the last two quarters of the year, and showed remarkable resiliency despite ongoing global economic and financial uncertainty. Sales in most segments are stable and holding their own compared to 2010, as historically low interest rates continue to positively impact purchasing power and improve affordability for buyers. However, modest economic recovery and job growth have affected disposable income for potential recreation and investment purchasers so these sectors remain sluggish.
Despite concerns about employment, personal debt load and net worth which dampened consumer confidence and slowed overall demand in most BC markets during 2011, OMREB ended the year on a positive note and is moving forward with optimism. A modest improvement is anticipated for 2012 with a slow but steady increase in sales activity, downward trend in listings, and stable home prices for balanced market conditions in our Board area. Ongoing near record low interest rates will keep affordability on an even keel and relieve some of the big purchase apprehension for home buyers across the country this year.
Although tepid economic growth is forecast for our province, the Alberta economy and jobs are expected to improve as the oil patch continues to rebound in 2012. We are hopeful that better household balance sheets will free up funds and bring back potential purchasers who are looking for good recreation, investment and retirement opportunities in the Okanagan-Shuswap. We have already begun to see more interest in these areas with more Europeans and Albertans on the scene for ski vacations over Christmas and New Years.
For current statistics and monthly media release, please refer to the appropriate Zone folders below. Click here to view December Stats release.