North Okanagan Housing Market Showing Signs of Stability Going into Fall

October 5, 2011 - Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board

Vernon, BC - The North Zone of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported September 2011 sales activity of all MLS® property types have slowed compared to this time last year and to the previous month (August 2011) as the market begins to show some signs of stability going into fall.

Overall sales for September 2011 slipped by 26% compared to 2010 (to 108 from 146) – a 6.48% dip from the 115 units sold in August – with sales volumes at $33.9 million compared to $56 million last year.  Total residential sales for September were down by 26.3% compared to last year (to 98 from 133), and single family sales fell 39.47% over 2010 (to 46 units from 76).  While last month’s inventory dipped slightly compared to last September (to 2,594 from 2,572), new listings rose 5% over 2010 (to 311 from 296) but were down 17.72% from listings taken in August (378). 

“The market in the Okanagan-Shuswap is beginning to stabilize as autumn unfolds.  Despite the current slowdown, the North Zone has experienced steady activity and stable home prices over the past few months so we are cautiously optimistic moving forward.  Most segments continue to hold their own while the recreation and investment sectors remain sluggish, being most impacted by opportunities south of the border, and Canada’s slower than anticipated economic recovery and modest job growth,” says Darcy

Griffiths, OMREB Director and REALTOR® in the North Zone.  “Overall demand in most BC markets has cooled along with lagging consumer confidence.  Belt-tightening and apprehension about making big purchases have continued as ongoing concerns over personal debt load, net worth and employment are being influenced by news of American economic uncertainty, global instability and equity market volatility.”

Griffiths notes, “Serious buyers are looking for well-priced properties – recognizing that now is the time to buy while there is still an ample selection of homes and room to negotiate, and while low interestrates continue to positively impact their purchasing power and determine the home they can afford.   Sellers can benefit from working with a professional REALTOR® to price strategically at current values and make the most of buyer activity. Homes with good curb appeal that are listed by sellers with the sharpest pencils are selling quickly in this competitive market.“

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 1,122 member REALTORS® and 91 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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