Property sales in the Okanagan continue to stay white hot this winter, with sales activity up 24 per cent over 2013, and sales volume up 32 per cent.
Each of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board's three zones reported year-to-date sales improvement of at least 20 per cent in 2014, with the Shuswap zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke) seeing a 29 per cent jump in property sales.
“While demand typically pulls back during the holiday season and edged down in other B.C. markets during December, Okanagan-Shuswap home sales continued to rally after an unseasonably cold weather slowdown in November and finished the year on a solid note,” explains Darcy Griffiths, OMREB president.
“Despite a slow start to 2014, sales began to bounce back in March, and the steady upward trend accelerated into an extraordinarily busy and fast-paced summer and fall. The 7,584 residential sales for 2014 are the highest on record since 2007, when 8,702 transactions were reported.”
Even though the Shuswap saw the biggest jump in percentage of sales (from 863 to 1,113 units), that was easily outpaced by both the central zone of Peachland to Lake Country (from 4,426 units to 5,370) and the north zone of Predator Ridge to Enderby (from 1,555 units to 1,992).
Just last month alone, overall sales activity of all property types across the board improved 23 per cent compared to last year and total residential sales were up 26.5 per cent.
“The conditions in our board area were at the cusp between a balanced and seller’s market in December,” says Griffiths.
“With more demand than supply for single family homes, the Central Okanagan is moving into a seller’s market, while the North Okanagan market remains stable for both buyers and sellers, and the Shuswap continues to offer the best value and selection.”
However, she warns the competition for buyers can still be a challenge for sellers if properties are not priced attractively.
Griffiths advises potential sellers to be realistic about the value of their home and willing to negotiate with prospective buyers.