Despite slower sales activity of 73 residential sales in September compared to 103 last year, the average price across the North Okanagan rose 13.4 per cent compared to this time last year, the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) said.
“We’re seeing a shift across the region with all signs, save average price, pointing to a market continuing to transition from a sellers’ market to one that would favour buyers and sellers more equally,” said OMREB President Marv Beer.
“While average price, at $534,943 ($522,585 in the North Okanagan), crept past both the previous month’s pricing and this time last year, houses are sitting on the market longer so it’s likely only a matter of time before we start to see downward pressure on price.”
Beer noted that average price can swing from month to month, depending on the mix of higher and lower-priced homes that sell in that timeframe.
Other indicators of a normalizing market include an increase in the time it takes to sell homes, with 77 average days on market for September, compared to 56 last year. Rising housing inventory is another signal, now 34.33 per cent higher than a year ago with more supply slated to come on-stream within the next year or two.
“More supply means buyers have more choice and, as a result, tend to become more discerning. This can ultimately can affect price, however, real estate markets are never quite that simple, as other factors are also at play,” said Beer.
Beer noted that buyer profiles for the region have remained consistent over the eight years of data collection.
“While the BC government would have us believe that speculation by foreign buyers and those from other provinces are making homes here less affordable, the reality is that at 84 per cent, the vast majority of buyers in this area, are B.C. residents, and that figure changes only slightly year over year” said Beer. “Clearly, the solution to greater affordability lies elsewhere.”