Property sales a mixed bag in Central Okanagan says real estate board.

While sales were down slightly last month compared to a year ago, overall they are up for 2012.

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board says sales of all Multiple Listing Service property types were down marginally last month compared to last November but overall this year, they have increased as the market continues to show what OMREB calls “slow but steady improvement.”

“Overall sales in the Okanagan-Shuswap dipped two per cent board-wide compared to last November, while sales year-to-date (January through November) were up by eight per cent over 2011, said the OMREB in its latest public report.

“We are still in a buyers’ market but there are fewer new listings and the increased sales activity is bringing inventory down. Market activity has slowed throughout the province as affordability, particularly for first-time buyers and higher priced homes, has been impacted by the latest tightening of credit,” said OMREB president Rob Shaw.

“Due to the divergence in our market, sales continue to vary among single family, townhouse and apartment properties month by month and zone by zone.”

Shaw said while sales of all property types eased off in the Central Okanagan and Shuswap last month—dipping by five per cent and three per cent respectively—the North Okanagan continued to strengthen with overall sales up by seven per cent compared to 2011.

Total residential sales from January through November 2012 showed gains board-wide over last year.  Once again, the north zone is leading the way, up 13 per cent, followed by the central zone (which includes Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna and Peachland) at six percent, and the Shuswap at two per cent over 2011.

OMREB area covers Peachland in the south to Revelstoke in the North.

Overall sales in the entire OMREB area slipped two percent in November to 438 units compared to 447 in November 2011.  While inventory was down 1.6 per cent lat month compared with a year ago at 7,904 units from 8,031, the 875 new listings taken for the month dropped 6.2 per ceut from 933 in 2011.

Year-to-date, overall sales jumped 7.9 per cent compared to the first 11 months of last year to 5,819 valued at $2.13 billion from 5,393 at $1.99 billion.

In this area, it was the same story. Overall sales during November dropped 4.9 per cent over last year but sales volumes improved 2.9 per cent— to 271 units valued at $111.8 million compared to 285 at $108.6 million in 2011.  Total residential sales for the month were also down 6.2 per cent but sales volumes were up 2.3 per cent compared to 2011 to 244 units at $102.2 million from 260 at $99.8 million last November.  A total of 140 single family homes were sold,  up 2.9% to 140 units compared to 136 in 2011.

The 566 new listings here during November was down 1.1 per cent compared from 2011.

Overall sales for January through November, 2012 improved by 7.7 per cent over the same period last year, rising to 3,715 units valued at $1.46 billion from 3,449 at $1.35 billion in 2011.  Year-to-date, total residential sales in the Central Okanagan are up 6. per cent (3,355) compared to the number of units sold during the first 11 month last year (3,164).  Townhouse and apartment sales have shown the most improvement so far this year, up 9.3 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively over 2011.

“The year-end outlook for our board area is fairly positive with expectations to meet or come fairly close to the forecasted 13 per cent increase in residential sales over 2011.,” said Shaw. “Inventory is selling and new listings are down from a year ago as serious home buyers take advantage of the property selection and low interest rates.  Some sellers—most noticeably in the Central Okanagan—who do not need to move are taking their homes off the market for the winter, adding to the year-end decline in inventory.  Trending towards more balanced market conditions, we are cautiously optimistic moving forward.”

OMREB is comprised of 1,030 member realtors and 94 real estate offices in the Southern Interior.


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