KELOWNA, B.C. – February 5, 2018. Residential sales across the region of Revelstoke to Peachland
totaled 449 in January, consistent with sales in December and a 27% increase over this time last year
reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).
“January showed a substantial jump in both sales volume and new listings over this time last year, with
increases of 27% and 45% respectively,” says OMREB President Tanis Read. Read notes that, despite the
increase in new listings, average price, at $523,402, rose 19% over January of last year while staying
consistent with December at a less than 1% uptick.
“It’s not really surprising that the volume of new listings hasn’t had an effect on pricing. We still need
more inventory to match current demand and there would be a lag between an increase in inventory
and potential price moderations,” Read comments. Read adds that it will bear watching over the next
couple of months as to whether the spike in new listings continues and any resulting impacts a possible
increase in supply has on price.
Another market indicator, days on market, showed an average of 99 in January, consistent with this time
last year, but up from December’s 79. “December’s average days on market was a bit of an anomaly, as
averages have tended to be in the 90 plus days for the winter months over the past several years,” notes
Alongside product supply versus demand, other factors affecting the local real estate market include
interest rate hikes and the new mortgage stress test which came into effect January 2018.
“The Bank of Canada interest rate hike on January 17, the forecast of more increases to come this year
and the new stress test are all expected to have an impact,” says Read, although these factors will likely
be offset by continued strong economic performance predicted for BC, albeit somewhat moderated
from the last several years.
“It’s anyone’s guess at this point as to how much of an impact interest rates and the stress test will have
as compared to other factors that can buoy the market, like a robust economy,” comments Read.
Local market characteristics continually shift with the factors that impact, so it pays to engage a real
estate professional whose job it is to stay abreast of conditions and who has the knowledge to analyze
and accurately interpret the implications.
Taking a look at buyers of homes in the region, the results of which lag the market statistics by one
month, we find a strong showing from first time buyers at 21% of the buyer population, followed by
move-up buyers at 18% and a spike in those buying for revenue/investment purposes at 18%, up from
13% the previous month.
In terms of family make-up, couples without children led the way at 25%, followed by two-parent
families with children at 24% and empty nesters/retired at 18%.
As has been the case since OMREB started tracking this data back in 2010, the significant majority of
buyers are from within the region OMREB serves at 64%. The next largest buyer group hails from the
lower Mainland/Vancouver Island area at 19%, followed by buyers from other BC regions at 8% and just
4% from Alberta.