Real estate is once again a booming enterprise in the Okanagan.
The Okanagan Mainland Real Estate Board released their July sales report Wednesday, noting that all MLS property sales were up 30 per cent compared to the same month in 2013. That’s the strongest unit sales for July on record since 1980.
“Month-over-month, the Okanagan-Shuswap housing market continues to remain strong as we make steady strides toward recovery,” said Darcy Griffiths, OMREB president.
“Renewed consumer confidence has boosted demand as buyers return to mid and higher end homes, and sellers who had given up are trying again with more success.”
During July, overall sales in the Central Okanagan were up 24.0 per cent — to 584 units from 471 in 2013. Total residential sales for the month improved 25.7 per cent to 543 units compared to 432 last year at this time. The sale of single family homes was up 26.2 per cent over July 2013 (to 279 from 221).
The 937 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month saw a 2.4 per cent rise compared to 915 in 2013, and total inventory was reduced by 13.9 per cent to 3.969 units from 4,611 last July.
Conditions in the Central Okanagan are now balanced and moving into a sellers’ market with more demand than supply in some areas.
The current market conditions offer something for everyone with opportunity on both sides.
“With strong prices, high demand and low inventory, there is more opportunity for sellers who wish to list and take advantage of the window of opportunity to sell before winter sets in,” said , Griffiths. “On the other hand, with the price of single family homes fairly stable in most areas, and mortgage rates remaining at historic lows, there are tremendous opportunities for buyers to get into the market before the possibility of rates rising as the economy and employment further improve going into 2015.”