Okanagan home sales drop in September

Sales were down 13.3 per cent across the region compared with August, but the number was still 25.4 per cent better than September 2015.

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The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board says residential sales in the Okanagan slowed in September, dropping more than 13 per cent compared with August.

According to OMREB, there were  884 sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service, compared to 1,020 the previous month.But despite the month-to-moth drop, Septembers total was still 25.4 per cent higher than September 2015.

“While fewer sales indicate that the market may be starting to moderate, pricing and days on market are still relatively consistent, suggesting that our move towards a balanced market is likely to be a slow one,” said Anthony Bastiaanssen, OMREB President and a realtor in the Central Okanagan.

“Product inventory and new listings are also factors to consider,” he added.

“When we see low inventories coupled with fewer new listings, we know that it is likely to be a while before the market balances. When we take all factors into account, we are still faced with a market where there are more buyers than homes to buy.”

Across the region, which stretched from Peachland to Revelstoke, the average MLS residential price in September was $477,844, a 2.76 per cent increase over August.  The jump was likely due to the type of properties being  sold, said OMREB in its monthly market report. Across the region, prices were 13.44per cent higher than September 2015.

Last month, new residential listings dropped nine per cent from August, while the number of days the average property stayed on the market  was a relatively constant 84.

OMREB says each market in its area has particular characteristics which create challenges and opportunities for both buyers and sellers.

According to August OMREB survey of buyers of Okanagan properties, the largest buying groups were those from within the Okanagan at 54 per cent, two-parent families with children at 28.9 per cent and first-time buyers who, at 18.4 per cent, edged out those moving to a similar-type property at 18.2 per cent,

“While there are slight shifts in the results, month over month, the profile of the Okanagan property buyer has remained relatively constant in the six years we’ve been conducting the survey,” said Bastiaanssen.

He added there was anticipation that the 15 per cent increase in the property transfer tax for foreign buyers of Vancouver-area properties the province instituted Sept. 1 could result in a spike of foreign buyers purchasing Okanagan property. But that has not yet occurred here yet.

“We thought we might see more foreign buyers because the 15 per cent increase only applies when they purchase Vancouver-area property, but nothing, so far,” says Bastiaanssen.

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).