January 6, 2011
Kelowna, BC – The Central Zone of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported December 2010 sales activity of all MLS® property types slowed from last month and are down from sales reported at this time last year. There is still plenty of choice available to buyers despite a decline in new listings and overall inventory.
Active year-to-date listings fell 4.64% compared to last year and new listings taken in December were down 14.42% from 2009 (445 compared to 520) – a 37% drop over last month (707). While overall sales declined 34.5% compared to last December (to 169 from 258), and total residential units sold decreased 36.8% (to 146 from 231) – down 21.5% from last month (186), year-to-date total sales volume for all property types dipped by only 7.36% at the end of 2010 compared to the same 12-month period in 2009 (to $1.493 billion from $1.562 billion).
“We expect to see a more balanced market in 2011 – without the wild swings seen during the past two years – with first quarter sales trending upward as overall demand improves with further employment and economic growth,” says Brenda Moshansky, OMREB President and REALTOR® in the Central Zone. “Optimum buyers market conditions will continue locally over the next few months while a good selection of homes, secure and attractive prices, and low mortgage rates remain. Buyers who have been sitting on the fence would be wise to get into the market now as interest rates are forecast to go up later this year, and there is strong speculation that the Federal Government will be tightening mortgage financing rules by raising down payments and shortening amortization periods.”
OMREB’s new Board-wide monthly Buyers Survey – launched in September 2010 to profile who the buyers are and where they are from – indicates that serious buyers are taking advantage of the current market and leveraging their positive purchasing power while it lasts, Moshansky notes. “Survey results tracked to date (November 2010) have found that the majority of purchases were by first-time (27.9%) and move-up home buyers (24.4%) with most buyers coming from within the Board area (Central Okanagan, North Okanagan and Shuswap/Revelstoke) – 57.1% , followed by the Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island – 17.6%, and Alberta – 13.2%.”
She adds, “Pricing continues to be important when selling your home, so working with a real estate professional to understand current local market conditions and to provide comparisons specific to your neighbourhood is essential as home values vary based on property type and location.”
The Central Zone of OMREB covers an area from Peachland to Lake Country and east along Highway 33 to Westbridge (including the Christian Valley). The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) is comprised of 1,138 member REALTORS® and 86 real estate offices in the Southern Interior of BC.
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®, visit www.howrealtorshelp.ca
All OMREB listings are published in the MLS® Real Estate Review magazine 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