Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market Posts Strongest May Unit Sales in Seven Years
For Immediate Release:
June 4, 2014
Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported May sales activity of all MLS® property types were up 31% compared to the same month in 2013 – posting a 25% improvement over April and the strongest unit sales for May since 2007.
“Spring sales activity in the Okanagan-Shuswap is much stronger than in previous years. Following five months of steady growth in sales with inventory down despite listings being up, OMREB has moved firmly into balanced market conditions,” says Darcy Griffiths, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the North Okanagan.
The North Okanagan leads the way in growth this month with a 51% improvement in overall sales, compared to 31% in the Shuswap, and 24% in the Central Okanagan. The North saw a 58% rise in single family residential sales in May, compared to 17% in the Shuswap, and 12% in the Central Okanagan.
“The selection of entry level home choices has been picked over and is significantly reduced with the drop in active listings,” Griffiths notes. “As consumer confidence continues to build, some buyers are viewing properties in a higher price range to find better inventory and value.”
Low mortgage rates and competition among lenders are continuing to support higher levels of consumer demand this spring. Increased purchases at the higher price ranges suggest continued improvement in consumer confidence is well under way in our Board area. Accelerating market and employment conditions in Alberta, combined with an unfavourable US exchange rate, are pushing recreation buyers back into the Okanagan-Shuswap.
“While an increase in purchases of higher priced homes is being reflected in a jump in the average price of units sold during May, this does not equate to a significant increase in the price of single family home prices. Pricing has remained fairly stable with relatively modest gains seen in some locations.” Despite balanced market conditions, the competition for buyers can still be a challenge for sellers if their properties are not priced well, Griffiths warns.
“Being realistic about the market value of your home, setting an attractive list price right out of the gate, and being willing to negotiate for the best offer are the keys to a successful sale. Market conscious and competitive home sellers are sharpening their pencils and seeing results.”
Sales activity within OMREB’s three diverse market areas tends to vary among property types zone-by-zone and month-by-month with ups and downs at different times and locations. In order to fully understand the overall picture of the current residential market in our Board area, it is important to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points.
Board-wide (Peachland to Revelstoke): Overall sales of all property types reported in OMREB’s Board area during May improved by 30.9% compared to 2013 — to 952 units from 727. Total residential sales for the month rose 28.7% to 853 units board-wide compared to 663 last May and were up 19.5% compared to 714 last month (April 2014).