Pending Lending Changes Spur Home Buyers in the Okanagan and Shuswap

February 3, 2011


Kelowna, BC – The Central Zone of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported January 2011 sales activity of all MLS® property types improved over last month but were down from sales reported at this time last year.  With new listings up significantly from December due to the typical post-holiday surge, and overall inventory similar to January 2010, buyers continue to have a good selection of properties to choose from.

While active listings and inventory paralleled January 2010 numbers (4,127 units compared to 4,120 last year), the 859 new listings in January fell 15.37% compared to last year (1,015), but rose 93.61% from last month (447).  Overall unit sales and total sales volumes dropped 26.24% compared to last January (to 208 from 282 - totaling $82.68 million compared to $109.57 million in 2010), and total residential units sold decreased 22.36% (to 191 from 246) but were up 20.82% from December (146). 

“As overall demand improves along with better economic and employment conditions, we expect to see more market stability and normalization during the first quarter of 2011 with sales trending upwards before revised lending criteria tightens the cost and availability of credit,” says Brenda Moshansky, OMREB President and REALTOR® in the Central Zone. 

“All markets can expect to see an increase in listings in the next few months as sellers decide to put their homes on the market moving into Spring and, thereby, widening the choice for buyers.  Consumers who have been sitting on the fence should be encouraged to make a move while 35-year mortgages and record low mortgage rates are still available as the Federal Government will shorten amortization periods to 30 years and reduce maximum refinancing to 85% on March 18th, and interest rates are forecast to go up during the latter half of this year.  Plenty of choice, attractive home prices, and low mortgage rates continue to provide the best incentive to buy now rather than later when prices will begin to trend higher and interest rates increase.”

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 conditions and leveraging their positive purchasing power while it lasts, Moshansky notes. 

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 1,135 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®, visit

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:

Brenda Moshansky, President (Board-wide statistical information)       (250) 860-7500

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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