Published On: Tuesday, 07 March 2017

Okanagan Housing Market Gains Ground In February

Okanagan Housing Market Gains Ground In February

KELOWNA – Residential sales across the region of Revelstoke to Peachland totaled 520 in February, an increase over January’s 353 sales, yet a 9% decrease over February of last year, reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB.)

“Clearly, market activity is picking up, which is typical of February, although sales volume is 10% lower than last year’s posted sales of 572,” says Anthony Bastiaanssen, OMREB President.

Also reflective of a more active market, the average days on market (how long it takes to sell a home) was 87, representing a shorter timeframe from January’s 96 days and last February’s 98 days. Pricing is also on the rise at $480,052.49, a 9% increase over January, and a 13% increase over this time last year.

Bastiaanssen points to ongoing issues with low housing inventory which puts upward pressure on pricing. “While the inventory of available properties for sale increased over January, we are still 30% lower than a year ago,” he says. “If demand continues at current rates, we will continue to experience competition for available properties, multiple offer situations and sales prices that are higher than asking price.”

Looking at who is buying Okanagan residential property, we find a continued level of consistency with previous years’ data. “Now in our 7th year of tracking this data, we see that most buyers continue to be those who already live in the region, at 55%, followed by those from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island at 21% and Alberta, at 12%.

“While Alberta buyers edged out those from the Lower Mainland in December (at 11% and 10% respectively), Lower Mainland buyers surged back in January to reclaim second position. Foreign buyers continue to be a small percentage of the buying population at 2%. “

Also consistent is the type of buyer, with the top three spots swapping between two parent families with children, currently at 26%, couples without children, at 24% and empty nester or retired families at 20%. First time buyers continue to be a strong group at 21%, slightly edged out by those relocating to a similar-type property at 22% and just ahead of those downsizing at 17%.