Houses are selling

Despite a slow start to the housing market in 2011, the year ended on a strong note.

Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board reported December 2011 sales improved over the same month last year due to the housing market normalizing with stable pricing and inventory on the decline at year end.


Rob Shaw, the OMREB Vice President, says overall sales activity in the Okanagan-Shuswap market continued to  strengthen with a moderate, but steady improvement during the last two quarters of the year.

“Sales in most segments are stable and holding their own compared to 2010, as historically low interest rates continue to positively impact purchasing power and improve affordability for buyers.  However, modest economic recovery and job growth have affected disposable income for potential recreation and investment purchasers so these sectors remain sluggish."

Board-wide from Peachland to Revelstoke overall sales improved by 7.7% compared to last year.
Shaw says although listings are are trending downward, there is still an ample supply and good selection of properties available in this market.

“The 686 new residential listings taken Board-wide for the month of December in both 2011 and 2010 are at 2002 levels (637) and on par with the 10-year average (679) for this month. However, year-to-date listings reported for the 12 months of 2011 (17,619) are 9.8% higher than the 10-year average (16,491) but similar to pre-recession levels (17,855 in 2007).”
Shaw expects modest improvements for 2012 with a slow but steady increase in sales activity, a downward trend in listings and stable home pricing for a balanced market within the board area.

"Although tepid economic growth is forecast for our province, the Alberta economy and jobs are expected to improve as the oil patch continues to rebound. "

Overall unit sales across the board:

Central Zone: (Peachland to Lake Country): Overall unit sales in the Central Zone jumped by 4.6% to 183 units($77.0 million) compared to 175 ($77.9 million) last December, and were down 29.1% compared to the 258 units sold in November. 

North Zone: (Predator Ridge to Enderby): Overall unit sales in the North Zone for December rose 10.0% to 77 units ($26.4 million) compared to 70 ($23.4 million) in 2010, and slipped 18.9% from the 95 units sold this November. 

Shuswap Zone: (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke):  Overall unit sales in the Shuswap Zone improved by 22.2% to 33 units($10.4 million) compared to 27 units ($8.8 million) in December 2010, but were down 44.0% from the 59 sold this November. 

(With files from  www.omreb.com)

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