It might be the calm before the storm.
Last month in Kelowna and the Okanagan Region there were 824 residential real estate transactions which is on par with figures from March 2016. In the Central Region specifically, which includes Kelowna, there was a drop in sales over last year, from 589 transactions March 2016 to 566 sales last month with a year-to-date decrease of nearly 3.5%.
In the Okanagan as a whole, this is an increase of 58% over February but spring is historically busier in every area of the country.
The average price across all homes types was $475,172.74 in March, virtually unchanged over February and 10% higher than March 2017.
Homes sold more quickly last month than they did in February, at 79 days in the entire region and just 51 days on average in Kelowna, compared with 87 days in February. In March 2016, it took 96 days on average for a house to sell in the Okanagan and 66 days in Kelowna. so Kelowna is in much better shape thus far in 2017.
The Okanagan Region continues to be starved for inventory, with 37% fewer listings on the market last month than March 2016 across the Okanagan as a whole and 25% fewer listings specifically in Kelowna. For those thinking of selling, this is a great time unless you're looking to move up to another home in the region. Downsizers might think of pocketing that capital-gains free cash and sitting on it while reducing their footprint.
Figures released by the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) show market stability with the exception of a limited selection.
Tanis Read takes the reigns of the OMREB
The OMREB has new leadership with incoming president Tanis Read offering comment with the association’s monthly news release. She noted that as the market moves into the spring selling season, the volume of inventory in Kelowna and the Okanagan will continue to be a challenge and will likely not meet the expected demand.
Read warned that buyers need to prepare themselves for stiff competition on properties and that her fellow REALTORS will need to steel themselves against high-pressure situations where multiple offers are on the table.
Managing these scenarios can be exhilarating but at the end of the day, REALTORS must ensure they get the highest price possible for sellers and the best possible price for their buyers.
The best criteria for choosing a REALTOR is to find someone who is familiar with the local market.
With the price of oil slowly creeping up and the Calgary and Edmonton real estate markets starting to show a pulse, sales of vacation properties in the Okanagan may begin to creep up. Alberta buyers continue to jockey for second and third positions in terms of buyer groups, with those within the Okanagan ranking first and buyers from other regions of the province a close second with those from Alberta.
Kelowna & Central March 2017 March 2016 Change
Total Sales: 566 589 -3.90%
Total Sales YTD: 1,171 1,211 -3.30%
Average Price $504,996 $456,985 +10.51%
Median Price $443,950 $416,000 +6.72%
Days on market (average) 51 66 - 22.99%
Days on Market YTD: 5 7 71 -20.29%
New listings March 907 937 -3.20%
Current Listings 1,495 1,994 -25.03%