OMREB: Positive bounce to housing market

The demand for single family homes through the Okanagan-Shuswap showed marked improvement during the month of March.

The Okanagan-Shuswap housing market bounced back during March from somewhat dampened results in February, according to the  region real estate board.

OMREB president Darcy Griffiths, a Vernon realtor, said, “During the past year, the local market has maintained a slow but steady upward trajectory and experienced a moderate recovery from the cyclically low sales levels at the start of 2013. While other B.C. markets have been on a downward trend for the past four months, all three OMREB zones have seen modest to strong improvement in sales for various property types. “

Griffiths added it’s encouraging to note that the region-wide demand for single family homes showed marked improvement during the month of March, increasing by 40 per cent year-over-year to 321 units from 231 in 2013—especially since sales of single family residences declined considerably in February compared to this time last year.”

The North Okanagan saw a 73 per cent year-over-year increase in single family home sales after a 20 per cent decline in February, while the Shuswap reported a 48 per cent improvement following a 13 per cent drop, and the Central Okanagan posted a 26 per cent gain over last year after a five per cent dip the month before.

“Moving into spring, we are hopeful that activity will pick up as the weather improves and buyers are spurred by the drop in long-term mortgage rates,” said  Griffiths.

“Considering that all aspects favour buyers, now is the time to get into the market while there is still a good selection of properties to choose from.

“Despite a declining inventory, prices remain stable with more balanced market conditions, and low interest rates continue to be available.”

The competition for buyers can be a challenge for sellers so proper pricing remains critical, Griffiths said.   “Market conscious and competitive home sellers are sharpening their pencils and seeing results…setting an attractive list price right out of the gate and willing to negotiate for the best offer are the keys to a successful sale.”


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