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Okanagan real estate sees boost

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board reported June sales activity of all MLS® property types was up 28% compared to the same month in 2013 – posting the strongest unit sales for June since 2007.

“After six months of steady growth in sales, the Okanagan-Shuswap housing market is experiencing a rebound in consumer demand and has moved firmly into balanced conditions,” says Darcy Griffiths, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the North Okanagan.  

“We are seeing more listings than in 2013, but not enough to keep up with the demand in some segments as sales have increased more than inventory.  So if you are looking to sell, now is the time to do it.  With the drop in active listings, the selection of entry level home choices has been significantly reduced, and some buyers are viewing properties in a higher price range to find better inventory.”

The Shuswap leads the way this month with a 46% improvement in overall sales over June 2013, compared to 28% in the North Okanagan, and 26% in the Central Okanagan. 

The Shuswap also saw a 43% rise in single family residential sales, compared to 27% in the North Zone, and 14% in the Central Zone where there was an 81% improvement in townhouse sales and 49% in condo sales due to higher inventory and a wider selection in those property types. 

“While the Shuswap has seen a significant jump in sales during the past few months compared to 2013 when activity was relatively slow, the Zone continues to remain in buyers’ market territory with more supply than demand,” Griffiths notes. “Conditions in the North and Central Okanagan are now balanced and on the margin of a seller’s market with more demand than supply in some areas.”

Despite increased purchases at the higher price ranges during May and June, the price of single family homes has remained fairly stable for several months now with relatively modest gains seen in some locations.

“The competition for buyers can still be a challenge for sellers if their properties are not priced well in a balanced market,” Griffiths warns.  “For a successful sale, you must be realistic about the market value of your home, set an attractive list price right out of the gate, and be willing to negotiate for the best offer.  Market conscious and competitive home sellers are sharpening their pencils and seeing results.”                                  

Sales activity within OMREB’s three diverse market areas tends to vary among property types zone-by-zone and month-by-month with ups and downs at different times and locations.  

In order to fully understand the overall picture of the current residential market in our Board area, it is important to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points.

Board-wide (Peachland to Revelstoke):  Overall sales of all property types reported in OMREB’s Board area during June improved by 28.2% compared to 2013 -- to 963 units from 751. 

Total residential sales for the month rose 29.9% to 878 units board-wide compared to 676 last June.

The 1,648 new listings taken board-wide for the month were up 10.7% compared to the 1,489 listings posted in June 2013, while inventory (active listings) was down 10.6% over this time last year – to 7,935 from 8,876.                                                                                                                           

Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): During June, overall sales in the Central Zone were up 25.5% -- to 606 units from 483 in 2013. Total residential sales for the month improved 29.3% to 556 units compared to 430 last year at this time. The sale of single family homes was up 13.8% over June 2013 (to 289 from 254).

The 980 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month saw an 11.2% rise compared to 881 in 2013, and total inventory was reduced by 13.6% to 4,002 units from 4,629 last June.

North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby):  Overall sales for June in the North Zone improved 28.3% to 236 units compared to 184 units sold last year at this time. Total residential sales for the month were up 24.1% over last year with 216 units sold compared to 174. Single family home sales (122 units) were up 27.1% compared to June 2013 (96).

While the 401 new listings taken for the month were up 19.4% from the 2013 level of 336, inventory for June saw a 7.8% dip to 2,233 from 2,422 last year.

Shuswap Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke): During June, overall unit sales in the Shuswap-Revelstoke  Zone improved by 45.8% to 121 units compared to 83 in 2013.  Total residential unit sales for the month were up 47.2% over last year at 106 units compared to 72, while the sale of single family homes rose 42.5% over June 2013 (to 57 from 40).

New listings taken in the Zone were down marginally (1.1%) compared to last June to 266 units from 269.  Overall inventory dipped 6.8% to 1,692 from 1,816 during the same month in 2013.

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