It has been a rocky few months for our North Okanagan real estate sales since the US election in November. January sales are a little off, too. Is it due to consumer uncertainty as we can’t avoid hearing what is going on south of our border? Is it the record low temperatures and voluminous snowfall? Is it the changing rules for first time home Buyers? Skyrocketing provincial Property Transfer Taxes in the lower mainland? Or just January? After seeing record sales in 2016, January sales were about average with 33 single family homes sold compared to 57 last year, a drop of 42%? However, year over year sales continue to show that we are still in a strong Sellers market. The first 9 days of February shows the roller coaster continuing as sales are doubled last years for the same timeframe.
Sales - Sales of single family residential homes for the 12 months ending January 2017 eased a little to 1,304 still a strong 36% increase over last year. It will be interesting to see what happens as we move in to 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 137 units to 418 for the last 12 months ending in January 2017 compared to 555 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 a bit to $384,263 for the last 12 months ending in January 2017. Prices continue to be above the highest levels in the history of real estate in the North Okanagan Valley! Average median prices rose 8.1% for the 12 months ending in January 2017 over last year and are up 17.6% from 2012/3 when we saw the lowest average median price of the last 10 years. This is now 3.6% higher than the peak prices of 2008/9. New records for high real estate prices continue in our market.
Absorption Rate - The rate at which our inventory is being absorbed by Buyers continues steady. The average absorption rate of 25.4% over the 12 month period ending January 2017 is up almost double from the 14.1% for the same period last year. Also, at the end of January 2017, there were 8 months of homes available on the market, double last month (December) and slightly higher than last January’s 7 months. This will give some of those Buyers a bit of breathing room although multiple offers on good homes that are well priced are still happening. I had one Buyer last week competing with 3 other Buyers for an East Hill home. (We won it for my Buyer!)
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.)
What is your next move? Let me help you!
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.