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), Move‐up 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%)
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, Move‐Up Buyers have accounted for 24.0% of the purchasers while First‐Time
Buyers comprised 20.9%.
Home Buyers came from:
Within the OMREB Board area (56.5%)
Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island (11.1%)
Other areas of BC (8.3%)
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 first‐time 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: