Home sales throughout the Okanagan Region rolled out the same last month as they did in January 2016. Seasonally the same with a bump of 5.6% reported. Except in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan where sales climbed to more than 17% over January 2016.
The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reports 353 residential sales in the entire region last month, from Revelstoke to Peachland. A year ago, 334 units were shifted. In Kelowna and the Central Region, there were 277 sold of those 353 properties reported.
A bump of 5.6% year over year in the entire region and 17% more in Kelowna and the Central Region. But mostly, a typical January where sales trends change post-Christmas. Sales dropped by 22% from the more hectic real estate scene in December 2016 when 453 residential properties were sold.
OMREB President Anthony Bastiaanssen offered his monthly analysis of January’s activity and noted that the number of properties on the market last month were 30% fewer than 2016. With scarce inventory, home prices were way above January 2016 averages. The average price of a property in Kelowna and the Okanagan last month was 4.8% lower than December 2016 but a healthy 21% higher than January 2016. The average residential price last month was $439,472.99.
The number of days that residential properties take to sell on average is inconsistent with the low inventory right now throughout the region. Last month the average in the Okanagan as a whole was 96 days, compared with the previous month of 91 days. Properties in Kelowna and the Central Region sold more quickly – an average of 65 days on the market, likely because rural properties and commercial properties are excluded from this figure. This could be indicative of some properties being too expensive for the majority of buyers and with a lack of moderately priced properties on the market, the luxury properties are taking longer to attract that one special buyer.
Bastiaanssen offered his thoughts on the inventory situation in Kelowna and the Okanagan, saying that there were a record number of new starts and building permits issued in 2016. He believes that once new properties are listed that the fresh batch of inventory will bring prices down.
Always a great ambassador for his fellow agents in Kelowna and the Okanagan, he encouraged all prospective buyers to work closely with a Realtor so they don’t miss out on important market information and on new listings. An experienced agent can help new buyers with those so important negotiations which are more critical when there are several buyers competing for one property, so common in the current marketplace in Kelowna.
The OMREB has been aggressive in collecting demographic and psychographic information about who is buying property in Kelowna and the Okanagan. The Board has been tracking where buyers are coming from, what motivates them in their purchase in an attempt to understand Kelowna’s current market trends. Bastiaanssen says that ever since the Board started polling buyers, they have found that 23% of buyers were purchasing a move-up property, with 20% of buyers purchasing their first home. Nearly 60% of buyers are coming from within the Okanagan, followed by Alberta buyers and Vancouver/Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island buyers. It used to be the reverse, with buyers from the province next door coming in as the third group of property purchasers. However, this trend reversed in December 2016 when Albertans stepped up despite the downturn in that province. Although all eyes have been on foreign buyers, the average percentage of buyers measured throughout the past six years has only been 2.1%.
Kelowna / Central OK Jan 2017 Jan 2016 Change
Total Sales: 277 235 +17.87%
Total Sales YTD: 277 235 + 17.87%
Average Price $469,892 $400,160 +17.43%
Median Price $418,000 $371.500 +12.52%
Days on market (average) 65 84 -31.7%
Days on Market YTD: 65 84 -19.38%
New listings Jan 564 651 -13.36%