Temperatures are cooling off as summer comes to an end and so is what has been a hot real estate market over the past fiv months.
Residential sales in the region spanning Peachland to Revelstoke were fewer this past month at 1,020, as compared to July sales of 1,042 posted to the Multiple Listing Service, down just 2.1% from the previous month but still a 25.8% increase over August of last year, reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.
“Overall, the market slowed somewhat in August as compared to previous months, but was still livelier than this time last year,” said Anthony Bastiaanssen, OMREB pesident and a Central Okanagan realtor.
“These results are not surprising. They’re typical of this time of year, with folks in vacation mode and, towards the latter part of August, focused on getting the kids settled into school.”
Average price in August, at $464,981.64, was 2.42% lower than July, but 11.52% higher than August of last year. New listings remained relatively unchanged from the previous month, while days on market rose to 85 from 80 in July across the entire region OMREB serves.
“All indications suggest the market is moderating, although at a relatively slow pace,” said Bastiaanssen. “While these conditions may take some of the pressure off, we are unlikely to see much of a shift in market conditions until more inventory becomes available.”
Despite the slow-down, the Okanagan market remains a challenging one, says Bastiaanssen.
Shifting to buyers, two-parent families with children were the largest group buying homes, followed by couples without children at 22% and emptynesters or retired at 21%, according July results for OMREB’s survey of buyers.
First-time buyers, those upgrading, those downsizing and those relocating to similar-type properties were represented in relatively equal proportions and, collectively, made up 69% of the buying population.
Those already residing in the Okanagan continued to make up the largest percentage of buyers at 60%, followed by buyers from the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island at 18%, 9% from Alberta and 7% from elsewhere in BC.
“Despite the introduction of a 15% increase on Property Transfer Tax for foreign buyers purchasing property in the Lower Mainland, we saw no change in foreign buyers here, who continue to make up about 2% of buyers,” added Bastiaanssen.
Responding to some confusion that exists in the marketplace, Bastiaanssen stresses that the increase in Property Transfer Tax only applies to foreign buyers and only on the purchase of properties in regions of the Lower Mainland and not anywhere else in the province.