Tales of multiple offers and homes going for well over list abound in a seller’s market. But one thing is for sure – inventory is low and house prices continue their upward climb in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan.
The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) released March 2016 figures earlier this week and transactions are up by 24.5% over March 2015 in the Central Zone. Single-family detached homes are up by 21.7% over this time last year and the number of days on the market fell to 57 days from 61 days in 2015. There were 5.3% fewer listing on the market this March than in March 2015 and 1.8% fewer single family homes.
In the entire region, from Revelstoke to Peachland, 847 homes were sold which is 26.8% higher than transactions from March 2015. The boom throughout the region continues with sales last month the second strongest on record for the month of March. The only time sales were higher this time of year was in the spring of 2007.
Prices are up 9.6% throughout the Okanagan, coming in at an average of $429,226 on the MLS® system.
OMREB president Anthony Bastiaanssen said in a media release earlier this week that exceedingly low interest rates and excellent employment growth are contributing to the excellent market conditions with new buyers coming from B.C.’s Lower Mainland and other provinces.
He noted that there are 19% fewer active MLS® listings than there was a year ago and competition for homes is evident.
Inching upward since 2009
The market in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan has been slowing creeping upward since 2009 when there was a correction. Real estate experts say that this is the best market in the past seven years with pent-up demand pushing buyers to make an offer. Sales in the $400,000 to $450,000 are going well and the over-supply of condos is disappearing.
The housing market in Kelowna is also marked by local residents making the leap from renting a home to buying or moving up to a bigger home. Agents are also seeing Albertans making the transition to Kelowna using sagging oil prices as the incentive they needed to make a change.
The Vancouver market is hot right now with many properties over valued and moving out of reach of many families. Even with the price jump in homes over last year, Kelowna homes prices are still within reason. They tend to be more affordable, even compared with Calgary home prices which, despite poor economic conditions, are higher than Kelowna’s. The average price of a home in Calgary is still around the $518,000 mark, which is approximately $70,000 more than in the Central Okanagan.
Kelowna & Area March 2016 March 2015 Change
Total Sales: 636 513 +23.98%
Total Sales YTD: 1,318 1,109 + 18.85%
Average Price $447,308 $413,978 +8.05%
Median Price $411,506 $389,625 +5.62%
Days on market (average) 72 66 -9.02%
Days on Market YTD: 79 83 -5.22%
New listings March: 1,133 1,206 -6.05%