Home sales down again

Home sales continue to slide in the Central Okanagan.

The latest numbers from the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board show a decrease of 11% from June to July, and July sales fell 29% year-over-year. It’s a trend that’s been going on for months now.  There were 2973 residential sales in the Central Okanagan between January and July.  That's 686 less than the same period last year.

“I think we can officially say that we are moving towards balanced market territory, although we are still at a point where the market tends to favor sellers more than buyers, yet not as much as in previous years,” comments OMREB President Marv Beer, noting five months of consistently lower sales volumes than last year, coupled with more new listings contributing to a growing inventory of available homes

Even though residential listings went up by 6% in July, it was the 6th straight month that sales decreased year-over-year.

While the real estate market was expected to level off after booming the past few years, current home buyer activity is being affected by a number of factors.  The Bank of Canada raised its interest rate July 11th for the second time this year and more interest rate increased are expected in the coming months.  New mortgage rules are also having an impact, and the dreaded arrival of the BC Government’s Speculation Tax.

Home prices are still rising.  The average residential sale in July was $641,006, up 6% from June, and up 17% from last year.

“It takes time for those active in the market to respond to changing market conditions, so sales activity tends to fall before prices adjust. Likewise, days on market is also a factor to watch, with longer days on market associated with downward pressure on pricing,” says Beer.

So far this year, it's taking an average of 52 days to sell a home in the Central Okanagan, 4 more than last year.