Kelowna – February 11,2015 – The real estate market is off to a slow start this year, and the real estate board says that’s due in part due to record snow falls and the downturn in the Alberta oil patch. The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported January 2015 sales activity of all MLS® property types declined 15% compared to the same month in 2014 – a slow start to the New Year.
Albertans may be pulling back from second home purchases for investment, recreation and retirement, and local households relying on work in the oil industry are waiting to see what happens. Kelowna took the softest hit of all areas in the Okanagan in January with total residential sales dipping 5% and single residential declining 16%, while apartment sales improved by 12% compared to 2014 .
The selection of single-family homes has been reduced with an ongoing decline in inventory and new listings, 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.
JANUARY SURVEY SUMMARY
- 28.0% of purchases were by Move-Up Buyers (up from 20.0% in December) *
- 14.0% by First Time Buyers (down from 18.6%)
- 11.8% by Buyers Downsizing (down from 17.9%)
- 9.7% moving from Single Family Home to Strata Unit (down from 11.7%)
- 9.7% buying Recreation Property (up from 9.2%) *
- 7.5% buying Revenue/Investment Property (down from 11.0%)
- 7.5% moving from Strata property to Single Family Home (up from 2.1%) *
- 2.2% moving into Retirement Home/Seniors Community (up from 1.4%) *
* During January, there were increases in purchases by move-up buyers, recreation property buyers, and people moving from strata to single family homes compared to the previous month.
Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):
- 24.7% Two Parent Family/Children (down from 25.2% in December)
- 23.1% Couple without Children (down from 24.5%)
- 19.6% Empty Nester/Retired (down from 24.5%)
- 16.5% Single Female (up from 12.2%) **
- 11.3% Single Male (up from 10.2%) **
- 4.1% Single Parent with Children (down from 6.1%)
** There were more purchases by single females and single males during December, while other buyer categories were down.
- 51.1% from Within OMREB Board Area (down from 59.5% in December)
- 17.4% from Alberta (up from 15.7%) ***
- 11.2% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island (up from 9.4%) ***
- 8.2% from Other Areas in BC (same as December)
- 4.1% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes (up from 3.5%) ***
- 2.0% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba (same as December)
- 2.0% from Outside Canada (up from 1.3%) ***
- 0% from NWT/Yukon (same as December)
*** Compared to December, more buyers moved from the Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island, Alberta, Eastern Canada/Maritimes, and from outside Canada during the month of January.