The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) has released figures from December 2015 and records continue to be set as the region's real estate market booms.
Year-over-year, December sales were up 6.7% with 444 residential units moving off the market, with a year-end total of 7,988 units sold in all areas of the Okanagan. This is 6.2% more than 2014 totals.
The previous record for most units sold in one year was in 2007 when 8,702 transactions occurred in the region.
OMREB president said in an association press release that the housing market in B.C.'s Okanagan region has experienced considerable momentum which he believes will carry through to 2016 with a very strong market in the first half of the year.
Christopher Miller remains consistent with his message which he delivers every month, citing good economic growth throughout the province, robust job market and improved wages plus an influx of talent from other Canadian provinces. These factors combined with continued low interest rates on mortgages remain factors in the healthy real estate market experienced throughout 2015 in the Okanagan.
Miller also pointed out that the number of homes for sale in December is down by 10%. Inventory has reached lows not seen since the previous boom year of 2007, which is definitely in the seller's favour.
Of the three regions of the Okanagan represented by the OMBREB, the Central region in which Kelowna is located performed the strongest along with the Shuswap. A weak Alberta economy continues to negatively affect the North Okanagan.
Comparative Analysis: Kelowna and area numbers
Kelowna belongs to the OMREB Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country). Usually the time of year when sales edge back slightly, Kelowna and area saw an increase in sales last month from the same time in 2014 by 10%. In looking at the entire year, sales increased by 7.8% over 2014. The biggest gains in this region were in single-family detached home sales which rose by 9.2% over December of 2014 and the average number of days overall in 2015 that residential units sat on the market fell from 74 to just 65 days.
Activity 2015 2014 Change
Total Sales Dec: 341 331 +10.0%
Total Sales YTD: 5,448 5,060 + 7.8%
Residential Dec: 316 273 +15.8%
Residential YTD: 5,376 4,887 +10.0%
Single Family sales 154 141 + 9.2%
Single Family YTD: 2,695 2,503 + 7.7%
Days on market (average) 71 86
Days on Market YTD: 65 74
New listings Dec: 376 310 +8.7%
Comparative Analysis: Board-wide
Sales of all residential property types in December in all three regions of the OMREB fell ever so slightly by just 0.6%. Levels of single family home sales have picked up over December 2014. The number of days on average that properties sat on the market continues to trend downward. There is also a decrease in inventory over December 2014 creating competition for marketable properties in the Okanagan.
Activity 2015 2014 Change
Total Sales Dec: 484 487 -0.6%
Total Sales YTD 8,840 8,478 + 4.3%
Residential Dec: 444 426 + 4.0%
Residential YTD: 7,988 7,525 + 6.2%
Single Family sales 226 225 +8.7%
Single Family YTD: 4,190 4,027 + 4.0%
Days on market (average) 129 113
Days on Market YTD: 109 115
New listings Dec: 535 530 +1.0%
Total Inventory: 5,343 6,167 -13.4%