Okanagan-Shuswap Housing Market Continues to Stabilize

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported October 2011 sales activity of all MLS® property types remained similar to this time last year and were down slightly from the previous month (September 2011) as the housing market continues to stabilize.


“Overall, the Okanagan-Shuswap market has experienced steady sales activity during the past six months of 2011. Most segments in our Board area have remained remarkably stable and continue to hold their own, despite comments on the state of the economy.  However, recreation and investment sectors remain sluggish as moderate economic recovery and modest job growth in BC, Alberta and across the country have impacted disposable income for potential buyers who are now looking south of the border for bargain properties,” says Rob Shaw, OMREB Vice President and REALTOR® in the North Zone. 


“The dramatic divide between the Lower Mainland and Interior markets has narrowed considerably as lagging consumer confidence and apprehension about making big purchases has cooled the overall demand in most BC markets,” he adds.  “Concerns about employment, personal debt load and net worth continue to be fuelled by economic uncertainty, equity market volatility and global instability.”


Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): Overall unit sales and sales volumes in the Central Zone dipped by 1.07% to 277 units ($106.4 million) compared to 280 ($135.5 million) last October, and were down 6.41% compared to the 296 units sold in September. Total residential sales last month slipped by 0.78% to 253 units compared to 255 last year, and were down 8.99% from 278 in September. Single family home sales of 125 units showed a 10.17% drop compared to 139 last year, and were down 13.79% from the 145 homes sold this September. October’s inventory of 4,761 units was up 3.37% compared to 4,606 in 2010, and the 834 new listings for the month rose 10.17% over 757 last year.


“With low interest rates continuing to positively impact purchasing power and the home you can afford, now is a good time to buy.  New listings are trending downward and inventory is staying in check, but there is still an ample supply and good selection of homes available in our market,” Shaw notes.


“Serious buyers are motivated by well-priced properties and room to negotiate, so sellers can benefit from working with a professional REALTOR® to price strategically at current values.  In this highly competitive market, homes with good curb appeal and listed by sellers with the sharpest pencils are being sold quickly.”


The results of OMREB’s Board-wide monthly Buyers Survey profiling who the buyers are, what they are buying and where they are from shows that the majority of buyers are from within the Board area.  Move-up buyers and first-time buyers are driving factors, and stimulate the chain of ownership.


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