Changing Buyer Demographics Leads to Strongest November Home Sales in Ten Years.

Epic Real Estate 2016 Real Estate Forecast

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported that MLS® residential sales for the month of November were up 21% from a year ago to 548 units. More homes were sold in the Okanagan last month than in any November since 2005 when 560 home sales were recorded. More homes traded hands by the end of November in the Okanagan than in all of 2014 while robust employment growth and rising wages in the province are helping to underpin housing demand and drive increased migration to BC from other Provinces.

Great news but with economic storm clouds on the horizon what can the Okanagan real estate market expect in 2016?

The Okanagan region and particularly the Kelowna and Central Okanagan markets will see stable and positive real estate sales activity in 2016 predicts Mark West President of Epic Real Estate Solutions Inc.

“We have a series of unique factors in this region that I believe will offset some of the negative external effects of low oil prices,” says West. The greatest positive influence will be aging baby boomers from other regions and provinces choosing to move to the Okanagan for lifestyle with over 50% of buyers falling into this age group”, notes West. Historically, buyers from Alberta have been the primary source of out of town buyers. However other buyer demographic and psychographic factors are appearing such as an emerging bulge of equity rich Vancouver buyers cashing out of Vancouver and area. “Our company is seeing more Vancouver based buyers looking at Kelowna as a low cost superior lifestyle option. These buyers are more accepting of condo ownership then buyers from other regions because of the high propensity of condo ownership in the lower mainland” says West. Another significant factor will be Canadians who own US recreational properties and will be cashing out because of the low dollar.

“From 2008 to 2010 Canadians purchased billions of dollars of US real estate with the Canadian dollars at par now they are cashing out and reinvesting at home.”

The Okanagan and Vancouver Island will be the big winners in this repatriation of investment dollars gained primarily from recreational properties and second homes.

Four Epic Predictions for 2016

  • More multi family building with a strong market for Infill street access homes in the downtown and South Pandosy neighborhoods.
  • More low and mid rise condos will come to the market and because of low inventory preselling will be easier for developers then in recent years.
  • Stable to slightly increasing prices but a strong price push for well located single family homes currently in low supply.
  • More purpose built rental housing driven by low vacancy and affordability issues.

November 2015 Real Estate Buyer Survey Results

Property Type:

22.1% by Move-Up Buyers (down from 23.9% in October)

17.4% by First Time Buyers (down from 18.1%)

17.4% by Buyers Downsizing (down from 17.7%)

12.7% moving from Single Family Home to Strata Unit (up from 11.9%)

12.2% buying Revenue/Investment Property (up from 11.5%)

7% buying Recreation Property (up from 4.6%)

1.9% moving from Strata Property to Single Family Home (down from 3%)

3.8% moving into Retirement Home/Seniors Community (up from 1.9%)

Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):

21.2% Two Parent Family/Children (down from 22.1% in October)

24% Empty Nester/Retired (down slightly from 24.3%)

26.7% Couple without Children (down from 27%)

10.6% Single Male (up from 9%)

12.9% Single Female (down from 16.5%)

4.1% Single Parent with Children (up from 2.3%)

Moving From:

52.1% from Within OMREB Board Area (down from 60.5% in October)

12.3% from Alberta (down from 13.1%)

11.9% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island (up from 9%)

11.4% from Other Areas in BC (up from 8.2%)

4.1% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes (down from 5.6%)

2.7% from Outside Canada (up from 0.7%)

4.6% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba (up from 2.6%)

0.9% from NWT/Yukon (up from 0.4%)

For more information contact Mark West at or call 1.866.679.3742 ext 201



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