Second Strongest July on Record for Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported sales activity of all MLS® property types in July 2015 as the second strongest July on record for residential sales since 1981.

Bucking the national trend, the British Columbia economy is growing and constantly improving. Low interest rates and ongoing job growth continue to support rising consumer confidence and home purchases in most markets in the province.

Lack of inventory for some home types is putting upward pressure on prices in some communities. Demographic realities are superseding the impact of weakness in the oil and gas sector as purchases by retirees and those looking for a lifestyle change have remained on an upward trajectory board-wide.

“OMREB’s June 2015 Buyers’ Survey results show that 45% of buyers were empty nesters, retirees or couples without children who are moving up or downsizing,” OMREB reports. “It is interesting to note that a consistent 18% of buyers were coming from Alberta, while 55% were from within our Board area, 10% moved from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, and 9% from other areas of the province.”

Single family residential sales in the Central Okanagan remained level with last July — rising a nominal 1.1% — while year-to-date totals improved by 11% over the same time period last year.

The average number of days to sell a single family home in July was at 88 days board-wide, compared to 90 days at this time last year. Year-to-date (January through July), homes are selling within 87 days compared to 107 the previous year.


Property Type:

23.8% by Move-Up Buyers (up from 19.8% in June) *

20.8% by Buyers Downsizing (up from 20.3%) *

15.9% by First Time Buyers (down from 19.8%)

10.9% moving from Single Family Home to Strata Unit (up from 9.9%) *

9.8% buying Recreation Property (up from 5.7%) *

6.0% buying Revenue/Investment Property (down from 11.3%)

2.3% moving from Strata Property to Single Family Home (down from 3.5%)

2.3% moving into Retirement Home/Seniors Community (up from 2.1%) *

* During July, there were increases in purchases by move-up and downsizing buyers, moving from single family homes to stratas, or into retirement communities, and those purchasing recreation properties, compared to the previous month.

Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):

26.6% Couple without Children (up from 21.3% in June) **

25.4% Two Parent Family/Children (up from 24.1%) **

19.1% Empty Nester/Retired (down from 24.1%)

15.3% Single Female (up from 12.5%) **

12.7% Single Male (down from 15.7%)

1.1% Single Parent with Children (down from 4.2%)

** There were more purchases by couples without children, two-parent families and single females during July, while other buyer categories were down compared to June.

Moving From:

56.5% from Within OMREB Board Area  (up from 55.5% in June) ***

14.8% from Alberta (down from 18.0%)

8.9% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island  (down from 9.7)

8.2% from Other Areas in BC (down from 8.6%)

5.2% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes (same as June)

4.4% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba (up from 2.8%) ***

1.8% from Outside Canada (up from 0.7%) ***

0% from NWT/Yukon (same as June)

*** More buyers moved from within the Board area, migrated from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and immigrated from outside Canada during July than in the previous month.

For more information contact Mark West at 1.866.679.3742 or email


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