North Okanagan Buyers' Market Continues as Summer Arrives - August 5, 2011

Vernon, BC - The North Zone of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported July 2011 sales activity of all MLS® property types improved significantly over sales reported at this time last year but were down compared to June as a buyers’ market continues into the summer months.

Overall sales for July 2011 were up by 18.69% compared to 2010 (to 127 from 107), with sales volumes at $49.3 million compared to $39.9 million last year.   However, sales dipped 3% from the 131 units sold during June.   While total residential sales for July rose by 12.62% compared to July 2010 (from 116 to 103), single family sales jumped 33.33% over last year (to 68 units from 51).  Last month’s inventory dipped 2.82% compared to last July (to 2,685 from 2,763), while new listings dropped 4.38% over the same month in 2010 (to 393 from 411) – down 3.2% from June listings (406).
“July home sales were down in most markets in the province compared to June with sales activity mirroring 2001/2002 pre-recession levels.  Significant inventory, coupled with a lull in overall demand, weak economic performance and negative reports regarding debt loads have cooled consumer confidence despite positive population and job growth in BC,” says Darcy Griffiths, OMREB Director and REALTOR® in the North Zone.   “Some market segments are holding their own in the Okanagan-Shuswap while others like the recreation and investment segments are down.  We are hopeful the current warm weather and influx of potential out-of-town buyers will result in modest gains during August.”

Griffiths notes, “Serious buyers are seeking well-priced properties in the North Okanagan, recognizing that now is the time to negotiate while there is still a good selection of homes and less competition on offers, and while mortgage rates continue to remain favourable.  They are looking to avoid interest risk, knowing that higher rates anticipated later this year will impact their purchasing power and determine the home they can afford.

Properties with good curb appeal that are priced by vendors with the sharpest pencils are selling quickly in this competitive market if buyers and sellers come together on expectations.  Sellers can benefit from working with a professional REALTOR® to price strategically at current values and make the most of summer buyer activity.“

The results of OMREB’s Board-wide monthly Buyers Survey profiling who the buyers are, what they are buying and where they are from shows that the majority of buyers are from within the Board area.  First-time buyers and move-up buyers are a driving factor, and stimulate the chain of ownership.

The North Zone of OMREB covers an area from Predator Ridge north to Vernon and Coldstream, and also includes the surrounding areas of Falkland, Enderby, Grindrod, Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Lumby and Cherryville.  The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) is comprised of 1,151 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 and  To find out about the advantages of using a REALTOR®, check out 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:

For more information:

Darcy Griffiths, Director - North Zone (North Okanagan statistical information)           (250) 549-4161

Kent Jorgenson, Director - Central Zone (Board-wide statistical information)                   (250) 717-5000

Cameron Muir, Chief Economist, BCREA  (Province-wide statistical information)                             (604) 742-2780

Paige Gregson

Paige Gregson

CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.
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