2014 Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market Ends the Strongest in 7 Years

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported December 2014 sales activity of all MLS® property types rose 23% and improved by 24% year-to-date compared to 2013, ending the year on an upswing with consumer demand the strongest in seven years.

“While demand typically pulls back during the holiday season and edged down in other BC markets during December, Okanagan-Shuswap home sales continued to rally after an unseasonably cold weather slowdown in November and finished the year on a solid note,”

“Despite a slow start to 2014, sales began to bounce back in March and the steady upward trend accelerated into an extraordinarily busy and fast paced summer and fall. The 7,584 residential sales for 2014 are the highest on record since 2007 when 8,702 transactions were reported.”

The selection of single family homes has been significantly reduced with declining inventory and new listings have not been fast enough to keep up with the demand, especially for those priced below $500,000. The shortage of entry level homes has pushed buyers into purchases in the next level up, or into the condo and townhouse market where there is more value in their price range. The price of single family homes is steady and strong in most areas with modest gains seen in some locations where supply has tightened. “The conditions in our Board area were at the cusp between a balanced and seller’s market in December,” Griffiths reports. “With more demand than supply for single family homes, the Central Okanagan is moving into a sellers’ market, while the North Okanagan market remains stable for both buyers and sellers, and the Shuswap continues to offer the best value and selection for buyers.” Experiencing ups and downs at different times and locations, sales activity within OMREB’s three diverse market areas tends to vary among property types zone-by-zone and month-by-month, Griffiths explains. “The Shuswap led the way in sales in December with a 33% improvement over the same month in 2013, compared to 23% in the Central Okanagan and 17% in the North Okanagan.  The Shuswap also saw a 28% rise in single family residential sales compared to the previous year, while the Central Zone was up 22%, and the North Okanagan experienced an 8% dip.”In order to fully understand the overall picture of the current residential market, it is important to consult with  a professional REALTOR® to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points. ”The competition for buyers can still be a challenge for sellers if properties are not priced attractively from the start,”Griffiths warns.  “Being realistic about the market value of your home and willing to negotiate for the best offer is the key to a successful sale.”

Board-wide (Peachland to Revelstoke):  Overall sales of all property types reported in OMREB’s Board area during December 2014 improved by 23.4% compared to 2013 — to 491 units from 398.

Total residential sales for the month improved by 26.5% (420 units board-wide compared to 332 in 2013), while single family home sales were up 14.5% compared to December 2013 (to 221 from 193).

Year-to-date (January through December), overall sales for 2014 improved by 23.8% to 8,481 units compared to 6,853 during 2013.

Reported sales volumes for the year were up 32.8% at $3.3 billion compared to $2.5 billion in 2013.

The 535 new listings taken board-wide for the month were up marginally (0.9%) compared to the 530 listings posted in December 2013, while inventory (active listings) declined 13.4% to 5,343 from 6,167.

Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country):  During December, overall sales in the Central Zone were up 23.4% — to 311 units from 252 in 2013.  Total residential sales for the month improved by 31.6% to 275 units compared to 209 in 2013.  The sale of 141 single family homes saw a 21.6 % rise over the 116 in December 2013, while townhouse sales improved by 50.0% and apartment sales by 24.4% Year-to-date, overall sales improved by 21.3% over 2013 (to 5,370 units from 4,426). Single family home sales were up 15.7% (to 2,502 units from 2,163), while the sale of townhouses improved by 31.9% (to 814 from 617) and apartments by 33.1% (to 1,029 from 773) compared to 2013.
For more information contact Mark West at 1.866.679.3742 or mark@epicres.com

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