Real estate sales activity in the Okanagan was up 30 per cent last month, making it the strongest July on record since 1980.
Just under 1,000 units of all property types changed hands from Peachland to Revelstoke, compared with 715 units in 2013.
“Month-over-month, the Okanagan-Shuswap housing market continues to remain strong as we make steady strides toward recovery,” says Darcy Griffiths, President of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.
“Renewed consumer confidence has boosted demand as buyers return to mid and higher-end homes, and sellers who had given up are trying again with more success.”
She says the north and central regions of the Okanagan are moving into a sellers’ market, with more demand than supply in some areas – although that is not true in the Shuswap.
New listings across the board are also up almost 6 per cent compared to last July, while inventory (or active listings) was down 11 per cent.
The north led the way last month with a 56 per cent improvement in overall sales; that compared to 24 per cent in the Central Okanagan and 23 per cent in the Shuswap. The northern region saw a particularly noteworthy increase in the number of townhouse sales (95 per cent) and apartment sales (63 per cent).
“With strong prices, high demand and low inventory, there is more opportunity for sellers who wish to list and take advantage of the window of opportunity to sell before winter sets in,” says Griffiths.
“On the other hand, with the price of single family homes fairly stable in most areas, and mortgage rates remaining at historic lows, there are tremendous opportunities for buyers to get into the market before the possibility of rates rising as the economy and employment further improve going into 2015.”