Winter sales thaw in February as Kelowna real estate picks up

Posted by on Saturday, March 11th, 2017 at 12:54pm.

 Housing sales were more robust in February throughout the Okanagan but still down from February 2016.

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) released February stats showing that there were more sales last month than there were in January – 520 throughout the entire region compared with 353 the month before.  However, sales are down 9% from February of last year, one of the most frantic real estate years in recent memory.

Association president Anthony Bastiaanssen said that the local real estate market usually starts picking up in February and this year’s monthly total, at 520 is down from the 572 transactions that occurred the same month last year.  

In Kelowna and the Central Area, there were 399 sales last month compared with 447 in February of 2016 – a drop of 10.74% year-to-year which is slightly higher than the region-wide figure.

However, he noted that a positive sign is that homes are selling more quickly throughout the region.  February 2017, the average number of days on the market in the Okanagan was 87, a better number that the 96 days posted in February and a surprising 98 days in February 2016.  Bastiaanssen said that shorter time frame is an indicator of a market that is coming to life.

That is particularly true in Kelowna were homes were on the market for an average of 73 days last month, a full 14 days shorter than the Okanagan as a whole.  Kelowna homes sold 9.63% fast last month than in the same month in 2016.

Residential prices are also on the way back up with average listings up 9% from January this year with an increase of 13% from February 2016.  New listings in Kelowna and the Central Area average prices were up by 15.12% last month over 2017 levels.

One of the largest contributing factors to the remarkable gains in 2016 was low inventory – just not enough homes in the Okanagan as a whole on the market.  Not enough selection and home prices typically start rising.  The number of new listings specifically in Kelowna came in at 760 compared to 861 a year ago, a drop of nearly 12%.

In looking at the numbers, Bastiaanssen said there were 30% fewer properties on the market year over year which, if the current demand continues in Kelowna and the Okanagan there’s going to be some pretty stiff competition in the months to come and home sellers may enjoy multiple offers and homes selling for over list.

Good for sellers, stressful for buyers as they are pressured to make purchasing decisions in a shorter time frame.  This is why an experienced real estate agent who knows the Kelowna market inside and out can help buyers achieve a positive outcome and mitigate disappointment with their experience in this current marketplace.

The OMREB has been tracking statistical and demographical information since 2010.  Data compiled by the association has leveled out with:

  • 55% of buyers come from with the Okanagan
  • 21% of buyers are from B.C.’s Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island
  • 12% of buyers are from Alberta
  • 2% of buyers are from outside the country

In his February report, Bastiaanssen pointed out that an anomaly this information was a few months back in December 2016 when Alberta buyers actually edged out those from other regions of the province, however those B.C. buyers surged back last month.

Other demographic information about buyers in the Okanagan:

  • 26% of buyers are two-parent families with children
  • 24% of buyers are couples with no children
  • 22% of buyers are moving from similar-type properties
  • 21% are first-time buyers
  • 20% of buyers are older families/empty nesters/retired people
  • 17% of buyers are downsizing 

Kelowna Area           Feb 2017    Feb 2016        Change 

Total Sales:                                        399                     447                        -10.74%

Total Sales YTD:                                676                     682                        -  0.88%

Average Price                           $526,715            $457,546                       +15.12%

Median Price                            $465,000            $418,000                       +11.24%

Days on market (average)                  73                       81                       -   9.63%

Days on Market YTD:                        75                       86                        -13.05%    

New listings February                      760                     861                       -11.73%

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