Strong Residential Sales Despite Summer Slowdown
KELOWNA, B.C. – Aug 4 th , 2017. Residential sales in the Okanagan region of Revelstoke to Peachland moderated slightly in July, with 961 sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®), down 6% from June, and just 2% fewer than July last year reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).
“While sales activity typically slows over the summer months, with this July no exception, pricing and days on market continue to show strong demand for available housing supply,” says OMREB President and active Central Okanagan REALTOR® Tanis Read.
At $504,712, the average July price in the region was a mere 1% lower than June and 6% higher than this time last year, while days on market, or the average time it takes to sell a home, was 63 in July, as compared to 73 in June and 79 last year. “Although these figures offer a general overview of market conditions, averages tell only part of the story and prospective buyers and sellers can benefit from consulting a real estate professional about how current conditions impact the neighbourhood or housing type of interest,” comments Read.
“One might be surprised at how sales and pricing within certain communities and/or housing types can run counter to general market conditions,” notes Read, adding that a REALTOR® who knows the local market can bring a level of knowledge and in-depth data analysis that can help inform decision-making. Year to date, buyers of homes in the region served by OMREB were primarily those who already live in the area, at 56%, with first-time buyers accounting for 20% of the buying population, followed by moveup buyers at 17%.
Buyers from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island accounted for 19%, followed by Alberta buyers at 10%, with buyers from outside Canada comprising a mere 2%, according to a monthly survey that OMREB has conducted since 2010. “OMREB collects this data to inform our knowledge of the market and current trends, which, in turn, enhances our members’ service to Okanagan real estate consumers,” says Read, noting that, since survey inception, buyers have largely been those who already live in the region. While Alberta buyers were the next populous group until 2015, this group has since been displaced by buyers from the Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island.
OMREB serves three diverse markets within the region: the Central Okanagan Zone (Peachland to Lake Country), the North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby) and the Shuswap- Revelstoke Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke). For detailed statistics specific to each of the three regions served by OMREB, visit www.omreb.com.
Residential sales totaled 824 across the region of Revelstoke to Peachland, generally on par with sales this time last year and a 58% increase over February, reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).
Other key market indicators include average price, which was $475,172.74, comparable to February and just 10% over March last year. Days on market, or the average length of time it takes to sell a home, crept down to 79 in March from 87 days in February and 96 a year ago. Inventory, or the number of available homes for sale, remains low at 37% lower than this time last year.
“While sales volumes and other indicators are reflective of this time last year, our market continues to be hampered by a lack of properties for sale,” comments Tanis Read, recently inducted 2017 President of OMREB and active Central Okanagan REALTOR®. “This means we will likely not have the volume of inventory needed to support the typically busy spring months.”
Read suggests that, with the growth in demand that generally occurs towards summer, the persistently low inventory is likely to create challenges for consumers and the REALTORS® serving them. Prospective buyers may find themselves competing for those properties that are available for sale and REALTORS® may find themselves managing high-pressure multiple offer situations.
“While those selling their homes may benefit from this scenario, they are likely find themselves facing similar challenges if they are exchanging their current property for another one in the Okanagan market,” says Read.
Given these challenges, Read advises buyers and sellers alike to consider engaging a professional, a local REALTOR® to act as guide and trusted advisor throughout the buying or selling process. Read stresses qualities to consider when choosing a REALTOR® include familiarity with local markets, regional anomalies, neighborhoods of interest and the type of home consumers wish to buy or sell (single family, condominium, etc.)
An OMREB survey concerning buyers of property sales that closed in February found first time buyers tying for first place with move-up buyers at 21.5%, edging out those relocating and moving to similar property types at 17.5%. The top three buyer types were couples without children at 30.9%, two parent families with children at 25.8% and empty nesters or retired at 18.9%. The majority of buyers continue to be those who already live here at 63.5%, followed by those from the lower Mainland and Vancouver Island at 12% and Alberta at 9.9%. Foreign buyers came in at just 3%.
OMREB serves three diverse markets within the region: the Central Okanagan Zone (Peachland to Lake Country), the North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby) and the Shuswap- Revelstoke Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke).
For comprehensive Board-wide statistical information, please visit our public site at www.omreb.com.