Real estate sales picking up

Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board releases January stats

Residential sales are picking up in the Okanagan

Sales across the region of Revelstoke to Peachland totaled 449 in January, consistent with sales in December and a 27 per cent increase over this time last year, according to the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

“January showed a substantial jump in both sales volume and new listings over this time last year, with increases of 27 per cent and 45 per cent respectively,” said OMREB President Tanis Read, who also notes that, despite the increase in new listings, average price, at $523,402, rose 19 per cent over January of last year while staying consistent with December at a less than one per cent increase.

“It’s not really surprising that the volume of new listings hasn’t had an effect on pricing. We still need more inventory to match current demand and there would be a lag between an increase in inventory and potential price moderations,” said Read. “It will bear watching over the next couple of months as to whether the spike in new listings continues and any resulting impacts a possible increase in supply has on price.”

Another market indicator, days on market, showed an average of 99 in January, consistent with this time last year, but up from December’s 79.

“December’s average days on market was a bit of an anomaly, as averages have tended to be in the 90-plus days for the winter months over the past several years,” said Read.

Alongside product supply versus demand, other factors affecting the local real estate market include interest rate hikes and the new mortgage stress test which came into effect January 2018.

“The Bank of Canada interest rate hike on January 17, the forecast of more increases to come this year and the new stress test are all expected to have an impact,” said Read, although these factors will likely be offset by continued strong economic performance predicted for BC, albeit somewhat moderated from the last several years.

“It’s anyone’s guess at this point as to how much of an impact interest rates and the stress test will have as compared to other factors that can buoy the market, like a robust economy.”

Local market characteristics continually shift with the factors that impact, so it pays to engage a real estate professional whose job it is to stay abreast of conditions and who has the knowledge to analyze and accurately interpret the implications.

Taking a look at buyers of homes in the region, the results of which lag the market statistics by one month, there is a strong showing from first-time buyers at 21 per cent of the buyer population, followed by move-up buyers at 18 per cent and a spike in those buying for revenue/investment purposes at 18 per cent, up from 13 per cent the previous month.

In terms of family make-up, couples without children led the way at 25 per cent, followed by two-parent families with children at 24 per cent and empty nesters/retired at 18 per cent.

OMREB serves three diverse markets within the region: the Central Okanagan Zone (Peachland to Lake Country), the North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby) and the Shuswap- Revelstoke Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke).

For detailed statistics specific to each of the three regions served by OMREB, visit www.omreb.com.

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