March 2014 - Where Is The Market Right Now?
The spring market continues to strengthen with rising sales, falling inventory and prices solidifying.
The total sales for the 12 months ending February 2014 were at 797, up 6.8% from the 12 months ending February 2013 and the highest volume of sales in the last 4 years since 2010.
The average monthly inventory of single family homes dropped to 622 for the last 12 months ending in February 2014, the lowest average inventory we have seen in the last 6 years. Inventory has not been this low since 2007 which is before the start of the recession that started in March, 2008.
Average median prices continue to rise. At $341,836, average median prices for the last 12 months ending in February 2014 rose 5% over average median prices for the 12 months ending in February 2013. This increase is for average median prices across the board and is largely due to the fact that prices on higher end homes have been reduced so much that sales are now starting to recover. This is causing the illusion that prices are increasing in all home categories and that is definitely not true.
For instance, right now some price ranges in some neighbourhoods are starting to rise slightly but other price ranges have just stabilized or are still dropping slightly. Therefore, overall average price in any given marketplace cannot accurately predict what is happening. I have found that using an HPI (Home Price Index) works best. This HPI considers all the sales of a typical house in a certain area and compares them to the same type of houses sold in the previous years. We find when we do an HPI that house prices are doing different things in different areas and in different price ranges. I would be happy to do an HPI evaluation on any property you have. Simply give me a call or email.
The rate at which our inventory is being absorbed by sales rose to an average of 10.53% over the 12 month period ending February 2014, the highest in the last 4 years. At the end of February 2014, there was 17 months of inventory available on the market.
From these numbers, it looks like we can expect the market to continue to rise as we enter the busy spring market. March sales this year month-to-date continue to show improvement over March 2013 so we are experiencing an early start to the spring 2014 real estate market in the North Okanagan.
The market over the next 12 to 18 months will be characterized by continued increasing sales and lower inventory moving strongly towards a market that will favour Sellers with more competition from Buyers and higher prices. Prices will continue to rise as consumer confidence gathers momentum and brings with it more Buyers.
If you have any questions about the market, please feel free to contact me at any time. You can go to my stats page on my web site with graphs and full detailed data.