Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported October 2013 sales activity of all MLS® property types have continue to improve since early this year, and are up 20% compared to last year at this time.
Residential home sales last month were above the Board’s 10‐year average for October – 550 units versus 510 – as consumer demand now more closely reflects long‐term averages across the province. Despite relatively weak economic, employment and retail sales growth in BC during 2013, an upward trend has been reported by most BC markets since the beginning of the year when sales levels were at a cyclical low.
“This market can be challenging for sellers and buyers alike. Rising home sales combined with a downward trend in active listings have improved overall housing market conditions in the Okanagan and Shuswap, yet we remain firmly in buyers’ market territory,” says Karen Singbeil, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the Shuswap area. “Make no mistake, this is a very competitive marketplace we are in. Successful home sellers set competitive asking prices out of the gate and buyers face their own challenges including interest rates creeping up and less flexible lenders.”
Sales activity tends to vary among property types zone‐by‐zone, due to the divergence in OMREB’s three market areas. “Unit sales have strengthened but you have to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points to fully understand the overall picture of the current residential market,” Singbeil notes.
Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): During October, overall sales in the Central Zone were up 26.8% to 383 units from 302 in 2012. Total residential sales for the month improved 34.6% to 354 units compared to 263 last year.
The 708 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month saw a 3.8% decline compared to 736 in 2012, while total inventory was reduced by 12.8% to 3,970 units from 4,555 last October.