Residential sales as recorded on MLS® continue to soar as B.C. becomes the country’s shining star in real estate.
Last month there were 1,263 transactions in Kelowna and the Okanagan region which is 38% more sales than reported in June 2015. In last month’s report from the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board, president Anthony Bastiaanssen called the sales activity “robust” and ‘brisk” throughout the three regions.
He noted that the average number of days rose by four from May to June, from 77 to 81; the stats don’t accurately reflect the urgency that buyers are feeling to act quickly on properties they like. Bastiaanssen reiterated that in a competitive market such as this, the guidance and direction of a real estate professional is critical.
As we enter into historically slow summer months, the average listing price fell very slightly from May to $475,091 however this average price is still 16% higher than June 2015. Inventory is down significantly throughout the Okanagan regions, with 21.37% fewer residential units on the market last month than June 2015.
With demand continuing to push prices up, especially in desirable neighbourhoods close to Kelowna’s downtown area, Bastiaanssen says the OMREB is tracking buyers who are looking to other areas outside core areas to find properties that better suit their budget. This is evident in Kelowna were buyers are looking across the lake to West Kelowna or considering locating to properties in Lake Country even if employment brings them closer to downtown Kelowna.
The OMREB president believes that the slight drop in average residential prices in June, despite soaring sales numbers, could be because a majority of buyers are finding lower priced properties well outside of their preferred Kelowna neighbourhood. High prices will prevail until the population growth decreases and more homes come online.
Who is buying in the Okanagan?
Home buyers in the Okanagan continue to come primarily from within the region (58%) , followed by buyers from B.C.’s Lower Mainland, followed by other regions in the province (combined 17%), then by buyers in Alberta purchasing vacation properties or relocating there (12%).
The OMREB reports that Okanagan residents purchasing within the region are an equal mix of first-time home buyers and those who are moving up, down or sideways into similar property types.
The Board also found that investors make up 13% of all current buyers. Nuclear families are 28% of buyers, older buyers and empty nesters are 21% and couples with no dependents are 18% of all buyers.
New construction in the Okanagan
The housing situation has not reached a critical state however new home builders throughout the region are responding to low inventory levels. Housing starts were up in June but any impact on the market in Kelowna and the Okanagan will not be felt until mid-2017.
Kelowna & Area June 2016 June 2015 Change
Total Sales: 891 659 +35.20%
Total Sales YTD: 3,889 2,923 +33.05%
Average Price $509,321 $433,278 +17.55%
Median Price $448,000 $390,000 +14.87%
Days on market (average) 62 75 -16.28%
Days on Market YTD: 69 79 -13.59%
New listings May 1,112 988 +12.55%