The Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market Maintains Steady Growth

August 3, 2012 Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported July 2012 sales activity of all MLS® property types improved over the same month last year and the first seven months of 2011, as the housing market maintains stability and steady growth moving into the third quarter.

“Things are continuing to look up in the Okanagan-Shuswap. Housing sales have strengthened during the past four months, with the typical leveling off of activity in July as summer vacations begin and thoughts turn to camping, and boating,” says Rob Shaw, an active REALTOR® in the North Zone and OMREB President.

“The Central Okanagan is carrying the rise in sales for the month with overall units sold up 13% from the same month last year, while sales for the North Okanagan are on par with 2011. Listings and sales are slightly down in the Shuswap compared to last July,” he notes. “Single family residential sales are strongest in the Central Okanagan in July with a 40% jump over 2011. Apartment and townhouse sales continue to improve in the Shuswap and North Okanagan. The North Okanagan reported a 37.5% increase in apartment sales this month, while townhouse sales were up 16.7% from last year. And, in the Shuswap, 8 apartments were sold in July compared to zero in 2011, and townhouse sales rose 25%. Year-to-date, total residential sales improved over last year throughout the Board area in 2012 – up 10% in the North Okanagan, 9% in the Central Okanagan, and 6% in the Shuswap.”

Board-wide (Peachland to Revelstoke): Overall sales in OMREB’s Board area improved by 7.8% during the month of July compared to 2011 (to 640 from 594). Year-to-date unit sales increased 9.3% over the first seven months of 2011 (to 3,788 valued at $1.38 billion from 3,466 at $1.30 billion). While inventory in July was on par to this time last year at 9,846 units compared to 9,838, the 1,525 new listings taken for the month dropped 3.7% from 1,584 in 2011.

Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): Overall sales in the Central Zone for July improved 12.9% to 420 units valued at $164.2 million compared to 372 at $155.1 million in 2011. Total residential sales for July were up 13.9% compared to 2011 -- to 378 at $152.6 million from 335 at $143.3 million. Single family home sales (210 units) saw the most improvement with a 40.0% jump compared to last July (150). Year-to-date figures rose 10.2% (to 2,478 at $953.0 million) over the first seven months of 2011 (2,248 at $879.6 million). The number of apartments sold year-to-date were up 16.4% over 2011 (to 469 from 403). While inventory for the month dipped 1.4% to 5,203 units from 5,281 last July, the 918 new listings added dropped 4.7% from 963 in 2011.

North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby): Overall sales for July in the North Zone were in line with 2011 (148 units compared to 149), while sales volumes dropped 14.6% to $48.4 million from $56.6 million. Total residential sales for July were on par with 2011 (133 versus 134), as were single family homes (76 compared to 78). However, apartment sales jumped 37.5% and sales volumes improved significantly (107.6%) over last year at this time (to 11 valued at $2.86 million from 8 at $1.38 million). Townhouse sales improved by 17.7% and values were up 3.1% (to 20 at $5.08 million from 17 at $4.93 million). Year-to-date unit sales for 2012 improved 8.5% compared to activity during the same period last year (to 881 valued at $299.2 million from 812 at $289.8 million). Inventory during July was up slightly from last year (at 2,702 compared to 2,675), while the 379 new listings taken for the month dipped 3.6% from 393 in 2011.

Shuswap Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke): Overall unit sales in the Shuswap Zone dipped 2.7% in July but sales volumes were up slightly compared to 2011 to 80 units valued at $23.6 million from 70 at $23.5 million. While total residential sales rose 3.4%, sales volumes jumped 17.9% compared to last year (to 61 units valued at $21.4 million from59 at $18.1 million). Single family unit sales for the month were down slightly (to 27 from 29). Apartment sales continue to show significant gains with 8 units valued at $2.1 million compared to zero units in July 2011. Townhouse sales and volumes were up 25% compared to 2011 (to 5 units at $1.5 million from 4 at $1.2 million). Year-to-date figures for 2012 showed a 6.2% gain over last year at similar sales volumes (to 427 units at $129.2 million from 402 at $129.3 million). Apartment sales year-to-date improved 310% with 41 units sold at $10.9 million compared to 10 valued at $3.5 million last year. New listings taken during the month were on par with 2011 (226 compared to 228), but inventory rose 3.4% compared to 2011 (to 1,934 from 1,870).

“The outlook is generally positive in our Board area as the market continues to stabilize,” Shaw reports. “Inventory is still a bit high but coming down with the ongoing sales fuelled by pent-up demand and growing consumer confidence. While new listings have leveled off during the past two months, the selection is still there for buyers. Record low interest rates are expected to continue to underpin home sales. However, the tightening of mortgage rules may affect affordability somewhat, especially for first-time buyers and consumers with less than 20% equity in their homes.”

With the dynamics in the OMREB Board area, there are up and down fluctuations in each zone monthly – depending on the community, housing type and price point, notes Shaw. “Now more than ever, it is important for anyone thinking of buying or selling to ask their REALTOR® how their property type is currently faring in the overall market and, more significantly, in their particular neighbourhood. Working with a real estate professional to understand current local market conditions and to provide comparisons specific to your area is essential as home values vary based on type and location."

Consult with your REALTOR® to make sure your pricing is strategic. Price continues to be of utmost importance when selling a home as serious buyers are motivated by well-priced properties with great curb appeal and room to negotiate. Buyers and sellers need to come together with realistic expectations if they are serious about closing the deal.

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board is comprised of 1,063 member REALTORS® and 93 real estate offices in the Southern Interior of BC. The Board area covers the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan and Shuswap – from Peachland to Revelstoke.

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 and MLS® Commercial Review magazines 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:

To download a PDF of this media release, click here.

NOTE: Current and archived statistics for each Zone are available on this site. For this month's statistics package, click on the "Market Statistics" tab in the menu at the top of this webpage and choose "Current Year - 2012".

For more information:

Rob Shaw, OMREB President (Board-wide statistical information)
(250) 545-5371

Cameron Muir, Chief Economist, BCREA , or Brendon Ogmundson, Economist (Province-wide statistical information) (604) 742-2780 / (604) 742-2796

Jan Bauman, OMREB Communications
(250) 491-4560, Ext 224


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