The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported sales activity of all MLS® property types in June 2015 as the strongest in eight years. Up 5% from the same month last year, the housing market has shown an 8% improvement year-to-date compared to the same six-month period in 2014.
The BC economy is currently the best performing in the country with population growth, reinvigorated consumer confidence and pent-up demand key drivers of the real estate market as it bounces back to 2007 sales levels in most areas of the province.
Strong consumer demand in the Okanagan-Shuswap has pushed home sales to an eight-year high and reduced days to sell to 72 days on average compared to 94 last year at this time Well-positioned and well-presented homes are continuing to sell quickly in the OMREB market. The robust demand is keeping inventories in check, with some segments experiencing relative shortages and sellers’ market conditions, particularly the lower priced detached units.
Year-to-date, the majority of the buyers are families who are moving up or empty nesters and retirees who are downsizing, with 60% coming from within our Board area, 15% from Alberta, and 10% from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island (January through May buyers survey results).
Low oil prices appear to have had little impact on residential or investment buyers from Alberta as many are purchasing homes in the Okanagan or Shuswap now in anticipation of retirement, or choosing to move here to live and continuing to work in Alberta.
Single-family residential sales in the Central Okanagan were up 8% compared to last June while year-to-date totals improved by 13% over the same six months last year. Inventory continues to be tight for all types of housing due to high buyer demand and not enough new listings to fill the need.
JUNE SURVEY SUMMARY
19.8% by Move-Up Buyers (down from 31.5% in May)
19.8% by First Time Buyers (up from 14.9%) *
19.4% by Buyers Downsizing (down from 20.3%)
11.3% buying Revenue/Investment Property (up from 9.5%) *
9.9% moving from Single Family Home to Strata Unit (similar to May’s 9.8%)
5.7% buying Recreation Property (down from 6.8%)
3.5% moving from Strata Property to Single Family Home (up from 2.7%) *
2.1% moving into Retirement Home/Seniors Community (similar to May’s 2.0%.
* During June, there were increases in purchases by first time buyers, and those who were investing in revenue properties or moving from strata properties to detached homes, compared to the previous month.
Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):
24.1% Empty Nester/Retired (down from 26.9% In May)
24.1% Two Parent Family/Children (down from 25.8%)
21.3% Couple without Children (up from 20.8%) **
15.7% Single Male (up from 10.7%) **
12.5% Single Female down from 13.4%)
4.2% Single Parent with Children (up from 3.0%) **
** There were more purchases by empty nesters/retirees, couples without children, and single males during June, while other buyer categories were down compared to May
55.5% from Within OMREB Board Area (down from 55.7% in May)
18.0% from Alberta (up from 15.7%) ***
9.7% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island (down from 10.7)
8.6% from Other Areas in BC (up from 8.4%) ***
5.2% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes (up from 4.0%) ***
2.8% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba (down from 3.7%)
0.7% from Outside Canada (similar to May’s 0.6%)
0% from NWT/Yukon (same as May)
*** More buyers moved from other areas of BC, and migrated from Alberta, Eastern Canada and the Maritime provinces during June.