Home sales heat up

It was a hot December housing market in the North Okanagan.

Overall sales for December 2013 in the north zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby), rose 58 per cent to 98 units (up from 62 in 2012), according to the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.

Total residential sales for the month improved by 70 per cent over last year with 85 units sold (up from 50).

While the 114 new listings taken for the month were up 23.9 per cent from the 2012 level of 92, inventory for December saw a 11.7 per cent drop to 1,668 from 1,889 in 2012.

Year-to-date (January through December), activity in this zone remained strong with overall sales improving by 6.4 per cent compared to the same period last year – to 1,555 units valued at $507.3 million from 1,461 at $484.9 million. Total residential sales at year-end rose 6.8 per cent over 2012 (1,397 from 1,308). Compared to last year, single family residential sales were up 2.5 per cent (to 782 units from 763).

“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,” said Karen Singbeil, OMREB President and Shuswap realtor.

OMREB reported a strong finish to 2013 boardwide with December sales activity of all MLS property types up 44 per cent compared to the same month in 2012 – posting the strongest unit sales for the month of December since 2009.

“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 – despite 2013 being the second consecutive year of relatively slow economic growth and moderate consumer confidence in the province,” said Singbeil. “Competitive home sellers appear to be more market conscious and are sharpening their pencils when setting their list price, which has led to more transaction volumes.”

The total level of employment has remained unchanged and will likely limit consumer demand to its current pace, perhaps with some moderation over the next quarter, according to OMREB. However, stronger demand in the second half of 2014 should create more balanced market conditions in the Okanagan-Shuswap.

Year-to-date, overall sales board-wide improved 12.8 per cent during 2013 compared to 2012 – rising to 6,857 units valued at $2.5 billion from 6,079 at $2.2 billion.


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