North Okanagan real estate continues to move along at a flatter pace this year after breaking records last year. February sales, like January are a little off. Although sales are flat or slightly down from last year, they are still higher than two years ago. Our inventory is still at record lows giving Buyers less to choose from and bringing multiple offers to Sellers. After seeing record sales in 2016, February sales in 2017 were about average with 59 single family homes sold compared to 70 last year, a drop of 16%. However, year over year sales continue to show that we are still in a strong Sellers market. The first 22 days of March shows a 13.5% increase over last year for the same timeframe.
Sales - Sales of single family residential homes for the 12 months ending February 2017 eased a little to 1,293 still a strong 30% increase over last year. It will be interesting to see what happens as we move further along into the 2017 spring market.
Inventory - The 12 month average monthly inventory of single family homes is still the lowest since 2007/8. The 12 month average monthly inventory dropped 147 units to 403 for the last 12 months ending in February 2017 compared to 553 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 9 years.
Prices - Average median prices inched up again to $387,304 for the last 12 months ending in February 2017. Prices continue to be above the highest levels in the history of real estate in the North Okanagan Valley! Average median prices rose 8.6% for the 12 months ending in February 2017 over last year and are up 19% from 2012/3 when we saw the lowest average median price of the last 10 years. This is now 5.2% higher than the peak prices of 2008/09. 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.
Absorption Rate - The rate at which our inventory is being absorbed by Buyers continues steady. The average absorption rate of 25.75% over the 12 month period ending February 2017 is up almost double from the 14.73% for the same period last year. Also, at the end of February 2017, inventory dropped to 5 months supply of homes available on the market from 8 in January, which is low for winter months and has not been this low since 2007.
To repeat an important message from last month, some of our local mortgage brokers have now had experience with applications for the new interest-free loan program from the BC government helping first-time homebuyers struggling to save up a down payment. According to Jeremy Schaffner at Invis, potential clients who wish to participate, MUST apply online, and 1 of the 4 documents required is a PRE-APPROVAL letter from a mortgage broker or lender. You cannot write an offer without being approved first for the program. There are some pros and cons to this program so make sure you talk to your mortgage specialist as early as possible (first thing) when getting the process started. (Jeremy’s phone number is (250) 549-9549. You can call or text him.)
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If you have any questions about the market, please feel free to contact me at any time. You can go to my stats page at If you have any questions about the market, please feel free to contact me at any time. You can go to my stats page here to view the graphs and full detailed data.