KELOWNA, B.C. – November 1, 2018. Residential sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) for
the Peachland to Revelstoke region rose to 639 in October, 9% over September, but 13% fewer than this
time last year reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).
“Interestingly, more homes sold in less time than September but average price was 5% less than
September and 4% less than this time last year,” comments OMREB President Marv Beer, cautioning not
to take too much stock in the price drop just yet, as the mix of properties sold in the month may be a
New listings continued to climb along with the inventory of available housing, with 14% more listings
than this time last year contributing to an inventory of homes that is now 33% higher than October of
2017. The average number of days it took to sell a home dipped slightly to 81 from September’s 90 days
and last October’s 83 days.
“Growing housing supply is a strong indicator of continued movement towards a balanced market
where sellers and buyers are favored more equally,” says Beer, noting that more supply offers benefits
for prospective buyers, those looking to rent and even those considering selling.
“While a market where there are fewer homes for sale to a larger pool of buyers, a description that has
applied to our market for several years, can be attractive for those considering listing, it can also pose
challenges for those same sellers when they look to find new homes at prices they can afford.”
Even within a local real estate market, conditions can differ within sub-regions or housing types. Buyers
and sellers are encouraged to consult a local real estate professional to ensure they have
comprehensive data and professional analysis and interpretation of that data to inform their decision making.
“It’ll be even more interesting to see what next month brings, as the Bank of Canada followed through
with another interest rate hike in October and the BC government tabled their speculation tax,”
comments Beer, noting adjustments made which, if the tax is voted in, will mean Canadians residing
within and outside of BC will pay a lower rate than previously outlined.
Looking at buyers of homes in the region, it’s worth noting that foreign and out of province buyers
continue to be a small percentage of the buying population.
“It’s surprising how many people are convinced the speculation tax is needed in Kelowna and West
Kelowna to curb foreign and out of province buyers. While this may be the case elsewhere, I can tell you
that for the eight years OMREB has been tracking buyer data, foreign buyers have remained 1-3% of our
buying population, buyers from Alberta at 11-12% and buyers from elsewhere in Canada less than 1%.”
The largest buyer group, by far, continues to be those who already live here at about 55-60% any given
month, followed by those who live elsewhere in BC. Also likely different than what people generally
assume, first-time buyers are a strong buying group that vies for first place with buyers looking to move
up and those relocating to a similar property type. Two-parent families with children generally head the
buyer group, followed by couples without children and empty nesters or retired.