As the Okanagan enjoyed sizzling temperatures in August, the number of residential sales dropped somewhat over the previous month in Kelowna and throughout the Okanagan region. No surprise as purchasing a home isn’t always a priority during summer holidays or getting kids back to school or settled at university.
The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board’s (OMREB) latest report shows that there were 1,020 transactions in August, down 22 over July which is a 2.1% decrease. However, checking the stats from August 2015, sales are up by 25.8%. In Kelowna, sales were 27.8% higher than they were a year ago.
Kelowna and the Central Okanagan region accounted for 74% of all sales last month across the Okanagan.
August Slow Downs Inevitable
OMREB president Anthony Bastiaanssen referred to the market last month as “livelier” that the previous summer and said he wasn’t surprised at the results, noting that an August slow down is typical.
The number of sales wasn’t the only thing down, albeit insignificantly. The average price last month of $464,981 was 2.42% under July’s average; however, it’s still 11.52% higher than the average home price in August 2015. The average specific to Kelowna and area was significantly higher at $503,513. Luxury properties in and around Lake Okanagan can skew average prices. The median price in Kelowna last month was $435,000 which is 10.27% above the August 2015 median of $394,500.
Inventory Levels Moderate
The number of new MLS® listings on the books in August stayed the same over July’s listings but the average number of days that homes stayed on the market jumped from 80 in July to 85 in the Okanagan but the average number of days in Kelowna’s very robust market over August was just 50, down from 78 average days in August 2015.
Bastiaanssen said that the data indicates that the market might be moderating but a trend has really yet to be established. The pressure was off inventory and prices last month but the true store will unfold throughout the autumn months.
Who is Buying
OMREB drilled down into August stats and report that families with children headed by two parents were the primary buyers. Next were childless couples which accounted for 22% of buyers followed by retirees or empty nest buyers at 21%.
Buyers continue to flock from the Lower Mainland and Alberta with people already situated in the Okanagan making up the lion’s share of buyers.
Bastiaanssen said that foreign buyers make up approximately 2% of buyers in the Okanagan which is what that statistic has been historically. He noted that the new 15% tax bump for foreign buyers on the West Coast hasn’t hanged the makeup of home sales in the region.
Kelowna & Area August 2016 August 2015 Change
Total Sales: 754 590 +27.80%
Total Sales YTD: 5,389 4,091 + 31.73%
Average Price 03,513 $430,932 +16.84%
Median Price $ 435,000 $394,500 +10.27%
Days on market (average) 50 78 -35.83%
Days on Market YTD: 68 82 -17.07%
New listings August 971 830 +16.99%