North Okanagan Housing Market Temperate Going into Spring - May 5, 2011

Vernon, BC - The North Zone of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported April 2011 sales activity of all MLS® property types dipped compared to sales reported at this time last year and were softer than the busier than normal market seen earlier this year before tighter credit conditions came into effect.

Last month’s inventory dipped marginally (2.35%) compared to last April (to 2,489 from 2,549), while new listings dropped 11.86% over the same month in 2010 (to 483 from 548) and were down 5.4% over March 2011 (506).  Overall sales for April 2011 declined 25.86% compared to the 116 units sold during the previous month (March)  – with total unit sales down 54.26% compared to April 2010 (to 86 from 188) and April sales volumes at $30.3 million compared to $63.3 million in April 2010.  Total residential sales for April dipped by 53.49% to 80 compared to 172 in April 2010.

“Compared to the rebound seen during the winter months of 2011 before tighter credit and slower than expected economic recovery affected consumer confidence and saw buyers sitting on the sidelines, last month’s sales were temperate.   Surging consumer demand in the Lower Mainland has been driven primarily by immigrant investment, overshadowing moderate results in the rest of the province,” says Darcy Griffiths, OMREB Director and REALTOR® in the North Zone.   “The gradual improvement in local market activity is reflective of the overall economy as immigration is not a driving factor here.  In fact, population growth (migration) has declined 25% since 2009.  Buyers still enjoy an excellent selection in the North Okanagan and well-priced properties are selling.  To attract buyers in this competitive market, sellers need to work with a REALTOR® to price strategically and take advantage of Spring.“

Griffiths notes the results of OMREB’s Board-wide monthly Buyers Survey – launched in September 2010 to profile 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, and indicates that serious buyers are taking advantage of the current market conditions and leveraging their positive purchasing power while it lasts.  First-time buyers are a driving factor and they 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 1,144 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®, check out 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

For more information:

Darcy Griffiths, Director – North Zone (North Okanagan statistical information)
darcy@redheadrealestate.com           (250) 549-4161

Kent Jorgenson, Director - Central Zone  (Board-wide statistical information)  
kent@kentjorgenson.com                    (250) 717-5000

Cameron Muir, Chief Economist, BCREA  (Province-wide statistical information)
cmuir@bcrea.bc.ca                               (604) 742-2780

Paige Gregson

Paige Gregson

REALTORĀ®
CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.
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