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Real Estate  

Housing numbers surge

The numbers continue to be hot in the Kelowna housing market, with sales activity up 15 per cent in October compared to 2013.

Overall property sales in the Okanagan-Thompson area (stretching from Peachland to Revelstoke) saw 706 units change hands last month, with 636 of those being residential sales.

“While October numbers were lower than the September highs, they were still well ahead of the seasonal average as home sales in the Okanagan-Shuswap market continue to outperform last year,” says Darcy Griffiths, President of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.

“Spurred by pent-up demand, robust consumer confidence, and a steadily improving provincial economy, the strong upward year-over-year and month-over-month trajectory in our board area has continued for seven consecutive months. We are cautiously optimistic that this trend will carry onward and into 2015 as confidence builds, especially with the variety of positives in the region and their multiplying effect on our market.”

The market area is made of up three zones: Central (Peachland to Lake Country, North (Predator Ridge to Enderby), and Shuswap (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke) and each tend to fluctuate month to month among property types.

During the month of October, the Shuswap zone led the way with a 27 per cent improvement over 2013. It also saw a 50 per cent rise in single-family residential sales with 45 units changing hands, compared to 30. Sales in the Central (14 per cent) and North (12 per cent) were also well ahead of numbers from last year.

“The best value for buyers is still in the Shuswap, where there is more supply than demand and prices remain relatively low, despite confident local buyers coming back into the market,” Griffiths notes.   

“Conditions in the Central Okanagan are in sellers’ market territory with more demand than supply in some areas – especially in homes priced below $500,000 where inventory is short – and a buyers’ market in the higher price category. On the other hand, the North Okanagan market remains stable for both buyers and sellers.”

According to the OMREB, the price of single-family homes is fairly steady in most areas, with modest gains seen in some locations where supply is tightening. They specifically point to the Central and North Okanagan where new listings are scarce with active listings currently 12 per cent lower than in October 2013.

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