Post-holiday sales continue to be brisk throughout the Okanagan region with 334 sales reported last month. During a time of year when sales typically slow down, January saw 13.6% more sales than January 2015 and was the biggest January on the books since 2008.
The average sale price registered on the MLS® system was 3% higher than it was the previous January, coming in at $383,115.
Spokesman for the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB), Christopher Miller, said in his monthly report that last month’s statistics are consistent with the strong market performance of 2015. Consumer demand in the Okanagan continues to rise and inventory isn’t quite keeping up, so the pressure is driving prices upward in most areas.
Other economic indicators such as high employment rates, rising wages and healthy population increases combine to push the demand for housing up in Kelowna and area.
The poor state of the Canadian dollar is bringing U.S. investors north, giving tourism a boost.
Miller says that in January, there were 13% fewer MLS® listings in the region so spring listings may come early to the Okanagan as those considering putting a property on the market may take advantage of an above-seasonal market.
The various regions with the OMREB experience differing trends and while the Central and Shuswap areas have been strong, the North Okanagan continues to drop a little each month as a direct result of what is happening in Alberta.
However, job losses in the neighbouring province have not affected the market in the Central Zone, which covers Peachland to Lake Country and includes Kelowna and West Kelowna. Sales in all residential market sectors were up 8.3% from January 2015.
Breaking it down to single family detached units, sales fell by just one property, from 87 in January 2015 to 86, which is relatively insignificant.
The average number of days on the market shortened by more than a week from January to January, from 85 to 77 days.
Selection is smaller, with fewer properties on the market last month than there were in January of 2015. The numbers went from 582 to 518, a drop of 11%.
Prices continue to escalate over 2015 by 9.45% for average prices and 6.2% for median prices. The average home price increased by approximately $45,000 in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan region.
The most popular sector of the market is single-family detached homes priced between $600,000 and $999,999. In January, 21 homes in this price category changed hands compared with 16 in January of 2015. Next to that was $400,000 to $440,000 with 13 homes changing hands, compared with 9 the year before.
Condominiums continue to show strength in the Kelowna market with a rise in average price of 12.59%.
Activity 2016 2015 Change
Total Sales Jan: 235 217 +8.29%
Total Sales YTD: 235 217 + 8.29%
Average Price $529,908 $484,145 +9.45%
Median Price $488,500 $460,000 +6.2%
Days on market (average) 95 115
Days on Market YTD: 95 115
New listings Jan: 652 7 -9.57%