The last month of 2013 saw a sharp increase in sales activity across the Okanagan, with all property types up 44 per cent compared to the same month in 2012.
It was the strongest unit sales for the month of December since 2009, according to the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.
“The housing market in the Okanagan-Shuswap continued the steady upward trend begun earlier in the year when sales levels were at a cyclical low, and ended 2013 on a fairly strong note with a 13 per cent improvement in overall sales year-to-date compared to 2012,” says Karen Singbeil, OMREB President.
“We are pleased to have surpassed forecasted expectations for sales growth in year-over-year residential sales for our board area, and experienced moderate to strong gains for various property types in each zone.”
While they admit the number of listings have been trending lower over the past few years, which has reduced supply, the OMREB says market conditions still remain in the buyer’s favour.
In contrast to the improved number of overall sales in the last month, new listings dropped 4 per cent last month, while the inventory of active listings was down 10 per cent.
Each of the three zones making up the Okangan-Shuswap housing market posted significant gains of at least 33 per cent, with the north zone (Salmon Arm to Revelsoke), seeing the biggest improvement with overall sales up 85 per cent compared to December 2011.
Across the board, overall sales for 2013 improved 12.8 per cent – rising from 6,079 at $2.2 billion to 6,857 units valued at $2.5 billion.