Residential sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for the Peachland to Revelstoke region rose to 639 in October, nine per cent over September, but 13 per cent fewer than this time last year.
“Interestingly, more homes sold in less time than September but average price was five per cent less than September and four per cent less than this time last year,” said Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board president Marv Beer, cautioning not to take too much stock in the price drop just yet, as the mix of properties sold in the month may be a factor.
New listings continued to climb along with the inventory of available housing, with 14 per cent more listings than this time last year contributing to an inventory of homes that is now 33 per cent higher than October of 2017.
The average number of days it took to sell a home dipped slightly to 81 from September’s 90 days and last October’s 83 days.
“Growing housing supply is a strong indicator of continued movement towards a balanced market where sellers and buyers are favoured more equally,” said Beer, noting that more supply offers benefits for prospective buyers, those looking to rent and even those considering selling.
“While a market where there are fewer homes for sale to a larger pool of buyers – a description that has applied to our market for several years – can be attractive for those considering listing, it can also pose challenges for those same sellers when they look to find new homes at prices they can afford.”
Even within a local real estate market, conditions can differ within sub-regions or housing types. Buyers and sellers are encouraged to consult a local real estate professional to ensure they have comprehensive data and professional analysis and interpretation of that data to inform their decision-making.
“It’ll be even more interesting to see what next month brings, as the Bank of Canada followed through with another interest rate hike in October and the B.C. government tabled their speculation tax,” said Beer, noting adjustments made which, if the tax is voted in, will mean Canadians residing within and outside of B.C. will pay a lower rate than previously outlined.
Looking at buyers of homes in the region, it’s worth noting that foreign and out of province buyers continue to be a small percentage of the buying population.
“It’s surprising how many people are convinced the speculation tax is needed in Kelowna and West Kelowna to curb foreign and out of province buyers,” said Beer. “While this may be the case elsewhere, I can tell you that for the eight years OMREB has been tracking buyer data, foreign buyers have remained 1-3 per cent of our buying population, buyers from Alberta at 11-12 per cent and buyers from elsewhere in Canada less than one per cent.”
The largest buyer group, by far, continues to be those who already live here at about 55-60 per cent any given month, followed by those who live elsewhere in B.C.. Also likely different than what people generally assume, first-time buyers are a strong buying group that vies for first place with buyers looking to move up and those relocating to a similar property type.
Two-parent families with children generally head the buyer group, followed by couples without children and empty nesters or retired.
OMREB serves three diverse markets within the region: the Central Okanagan Zone (Peachland to Lake Country), the North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby) and the Shuswap-Revelstoke Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke).
For detailed statistics, by zone, visit www.omreb.com.