Well the combination of a pending provincial election and the lowest inventory since 2006 has slowed single family home sales again in the North Okanagan. April sales are down slightly from last month (typically April sales increase over March) and significantly from April last year. These declines are starting to show in the year-over-year sales stats as well. This low inventory is having unusual impacts on our real estate market where homes are selling quickly (my listings average 5 days on the market!), selling for above the asking price due to multiple offers and causing reluctance for people who want to sell but are afraid they will not be able to find a new place. These changes have prompted me to develop some clever techniques which I will talk more about at the end of this update.
Sales - Sales of single family residential homes for the 12 months ending April 2017 eased a little more to 1,262 dropping to an 18% increase over last year from last month’s 30% increase. It will be interesting to see what happens as we move further along into the 2017 spring post-election market. May month-to-date sales are already up 10% from the same period last year.
Inventory - The 12 month average monthly inventory of single family homes is now the lowest since 2006. The 12 month average monthly inventory dropped 160 units to 381 for the last 12 months ending in April 2017 compared to 541 for the same period in 2016. This is due to the the continued inflow of Buyers to our community which contributes to the lowest inventory we have seen in over 11 years.
Prices - Average median prices moved up again to $392,138 for the last 12 months ending in April 2017. Prices continue to be above the highest levels in the history of real estate in the North Okanagan Valley! Average median prices rose 7.5% for the 12 months ending in April 2017 over last year and are up 20% from 2013 when we saw the lowest average median price of the last 10 years. This is now 8.8% higher than the peak prices of 2008. New records for high real estate prices continue in our market. As long as there are more Buyers than there are homes for those Buyers, we will see upward pressure on prices no matter, it seems, how much the sales volume drop.
Absorption Rate - The rate at which our inventory is being absorbed by Buyers continues to climb. The average absorption rate of 26.77% over the 12 month period ending April 2017 is up from the 16.38% for the same period last year. Also, at the end of April 2017, inventory actually increased to 4 months supply of homes available on the market from 3 in March, which is mostly due to the low number of sales.
So as promised in my opening paragraph, how do we deal with finding homes for the Buyers who are looking and for the Sellers who want to sell but are afraid they won’t find anything to buy? Here are some hints… #1). buy first, then sell and use the rising market to fund the overlap costs (go ahead, ask me how). #2). Get your ducks in a row (financing, etc.) then monitor the market (with my help, I can show you homes 24 hours before they are shown to the general public, plus I know lots of Realtors with “pocket” listings) and if you like it, be prepared to put in an offer right away (with my portable office, I can submit your offer from inside the house we are viewing). #3). Let me know where you want to live and I will canvass that area to see who wants to sell but has not listed yet. When the going gets tough, the tough get creative!
What is your next move? Let me help you!