Who is buying homes in the Okanagan‐Shuswap?

Kelowna, BC

Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board

Ever wonder where home buyers come from? Since September 2010, the Okanagan

Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) has been collecting information from our members with regards

to where our buyers are coming from – both geographically and demographically. The purpose of

collecting this data is to add another element to our market knowledge and a better understanding of

current trends. The longer record, the more insight the Board will have.

Results of OMREB’s new Board

wide monthly Buyers Survey indicate that serious buyers are taking

advantage of the current market and leveraging their positive purchasing power while it lasts. Buyer

profiles gathered through each monthly survey include property type, family dynamic, financing, and

areas moving from and to.


During 2012 (January through December), Moveup Buyers have accounted for 26% of the

purchasers while First

Time Buyers comprised 20%.

Home Buyers have been coming from:

Within the OMREB Board area (58.9%)

Alberta (15.5%)

Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island (10.3%)

Other areas of BC (8.0%)

Saskatchewan/Manitoba (2.3 %)

Eastern Canada/Maritimes (2.5%)

Outside Canada (1.8%)

North West Territories/Yukon* (0.6%)


During 2011, MoveUp Buyers have accounted for 24.0% of the purchasers while FirstTime

Buyers comprised 20.9%.

Home Buyers came from:

Within the OMREB Board area (56.5%)

Alberta (14.9%)

Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island (11.1%)

Other areas of BC (8.3%)

Saskatchewan/Manitoba (3.1%)

Eastern Canada/Maritimes (3.1%)

Outside Canada (2.4%)

Northwest Territories/Yukon* (0%)

* NWT/Yukon – 15

Real estate markets can be driven by local demand, demand stemming from outside the region or

province, by international sources, or by a combination of all three. Knowing how many homes are

sold and at what price is an important part of the picture. However, understanding who your buyers

are and where they come from can reveal not only market dynamics but also identify which factors

actually drive local demand. For example, a change in entry level buyer activity can have a ripple

effect throughout the entire market as many move up buyers rely on firsttime buyers to purchase

their existing homes. First time buyers are a driving factor and they stimulate the chain of ownership.

Low interest rates and attractive pricing alone don’t necessarily mean increased sales activity. Many

additional factors affect consumer confidence, including local employment opportunities and the

overall economic environment. Real estate markets can also react differently depending on the

influence of various buyer segments.

Housing markets in Vancouver, for example, have been bolstered by off

shore buyers while the Alberta market is closely linked to natural resource prices and their job market. Since a sizable

proportion of local sales come from buyers that originate outside our region, with about 40% being non local, we need to keep an eye on Alberta and the Lower Mainland. Our monthly Buyers Survey helps to do just that.

So if you were curious as to what is moving our local real estate market, this is a bit of insight.

OMREB is comprised of 1,030 member REALTORS® and 94 real estate offices in BC’s Southern

Interior, and the Board area covers the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan and Shuswap –

from Peachland to Revelstoke.

For more information:


OMREB Communications

Paige Gregson

Paige Gregson

CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.
Contact Me

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