KELOWNA, B.C. – December 8, 2017. Residential sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) for
the Okanagan region of Peachland to Revelstoke totaled 605 in November, falling 18% from last month’s
736 and up 6% from this time last year reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).
“Despite a strengthening economy, lower unemployment and near record immigration, both buyers and
sellers seem to be laying low as we approach the end of 2017,” comments OMREB President Tanis Read,
adding, “Significant decreases in both sales and new listings in November combined with a significant
uptick in average number of days on market may indicate that factors like tightening government
regulation around mortgages, tenancy and representation are taking their toll.”
The month of November saw 769 new properties listed, down 14% from October’s 898 new listings, and
approximately on par with the 705 new listings that came to market in November 2016. Typical for the
fall months, average number of days to sell has increased to 132 from October’s 83 and but is
significantly higher than the 97 days on average for the same period last year.
Read notes that average price – $501,335 for November – has moderated slightly with tightening supply
and less-buoyant sales. Average price in November was down 5% from October, but up 7% over this
time last year.
“Although availability and affordability is beginning to be addressed through new, multi-family
residences coming to market in some regions of our area, we may also be seeing a lag of resale product
coming to market during the period of transition, which is product primarily represented on the MLS
System,” comments Read.
More housing supply (which we are seeing in new construction) offers benefits not only for prospective
buyers but those looking to rent and even those considering selling. However, we are not yet seeing the
overflow impacts to the resale market. In the meantime, while we are still in a seller’s market, where
there are fewer homes for sale to a larger pool of buyers, this can be attractive for those considering
listing, but can also pose challenges for those same sellers when they look to find a new home at a price
they can afford.
“Even within a local real estate market, conditions can differ within particular sub-regions or the various
types of housing product,” says Read, encouraging buyers and sellers to consult a local real estate
professional to ensure they have comprehensive data to inform their decision-making.
OMREB’s monthly survey of home buyers in the region seem to support the impacts of tightening
regulation and supply, as fewer first time home buyers – which comprised 15% of the market in
November – has decreased significantly compared to the 84-month historical average of 20% of
purchasers. The number of move-up buyers has been impacted similarly, which made up 22% of
purchases on average in the past seven years, but now only comprises 14% of the purchasing market.
“While market dynamics have definitely changed, it’s encouraging that first time buyers continue to be a
strong force within the region as they stimulate the chain of housing ownership”, says Read. “It is also
not surprising to see that the number of move-up buyers correlate strongly with first-time buyers, as
they tend to rely on first time buyers to purchase their existing homes.”