Property sales in the Okanagan were up 26 per cent last month compared to April, 2013 says the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB). It was also a 26 per cent improvement over March, 2014.
“The Okanagan-Shuswap housing market moved out of a buyer’s market into a balanced market during April, following a steady growth in sales and declining inventory,” says Darcy Griffiths, OMREB President.
“Board-wide, sales statistics for the first four months of 2014 indicate recovery is well underway with rising consumer demand and balanced conditions emerging as we move into the warmer spring months. With prices remaining stable and record low interest rates still available, buyers who have been sitting on the fence may be poised to enter the market, while sellers will be listing homes with more confidence.”
Across the board, from Peachland to Revelstoke, overall sales improved 26.3 per cent with 783 units changing hands last month.
The 1,793 new listings for April was 3.3 per cent lower than the 1,855 listings posted in April 2013, while the amount of active listings was down 7.8 per cent over that same span.
The biggest jump in unit sales came in the Shuswap zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke). It saw overall unit sales improve by 40.5 per cent from a year ago, with 104 units sold last month, compared to only 74 in 2013.
The Central zone from Peachland to Lake Country saw 516 units change hands, an increase of 27.1 per cent over 2013. The sale of single-family homes was up 21.3 per cent compared to April 2013. And total inventory dropped 10 per cent from this time last year.
In the North Zone from Predator Ridge to Enderby, overall sales for April were also higher, but to a lesser extent. A total of 161 units changed hands, an improvement of 15 per cent from last year at this time.
Griffiths cautions that buyers could be looking harder to find homes and may need to view properties in a higher price range to find similar value, as the selection of entry level choices has been picked over and reduced with the drop in active listings.
“Market conscious and competitive home sellers are sharpening their pencils and seeing results," she says.
"Being realistic about the market value of your home, setting an attractive list price right out of the gate and be willing to negotiate for the best offer are the keys to a successful sale.”