Positive month for housing sales
The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board reported November 2013 sales up 17 per cent compared to the same month in 2012, a continuation of the steady upward trend begun earlier this year when sales levels were at a cyclical low.
While residential home sales for November improved year-over-year in most B.C. markets, consumer demand has edged back compared to October.
A cooling off period is typically seen moving into winter and the holiday season, but the sluggish economy and anaemic job growth have already begun to take some of the steam out of the housing market across the province, and could dampen consumer confidence over the next few months, according to OMREB.
“During the past seven months, the housing market in the Okanagan and Shuswap has improved as increased consumer demand combined with fewer homes for sale has led to more balanced conditions,” said Karen Singbeil, OMREB president and a Shuswap realtor.
“However, we remain firmly in a buyer’s market territory, which can be very challenging for sellers and buyers alike. To be competitive, successful home sellers typically have sharp pencils when setting their asking price. While short-term interest rates are expected to remain unchanged, buyers could face less flexible lenders and the risk of rising long-term fixed mortgage rates going forward.”
OMREB’s three market areas are diverse. As a result, sales activity tends to vary among property types zone-by-zone and month-by-month with ups and downs at different times and locations. In order to fully understand the overall picture of the current residential market in our board area it is important to look at prices within property types and sale price trends within different price points.
Broken down by zones within the OMREB region, the Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country) saw November sales up 20.5 per cent to 323 units from 268 for the same month in 2012.
Total residential sales for the month improved 27 per cent to 306 units compared to 241 last year.