Home sales in Central Okanagan down in September

Residential housing sales in September were down by 18%, compared to the same month last year, but prices continued to rise in the Central Okanagan.

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board says the average home price is now almost $721,000 - up 1.4% from September 2017.

However, board president Marv Beer says they're starting to see a shift from a sellers’ market - to one that favours buyers and sellers more equally. He says homes are sitting on the market longer - and more inventory is coming online - both of which put downard pressure on prices.

Townhome prices were also up last month by almost 9% - while condo prices rose 7% from September 2017.  

Looking at buyers of homes in the region, the latest results from home sales closing in August reveals a strong showing of first-time buyers at 16%, although two-parent families with children topped the list at 30% of buyers. Those buying for revenue or investment purposes were 14%.

Typical for the region, the largest buyer group, at 56%, comprised those who already live in the area, with the next largest groups being those from the Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island at 21% and those from Alberta at 12%. Foreign buyers were just 1%.

Beer notes that buyer profiles for the region have remained consistent over the eight years of data collection. “While the BC government would have us believe that speculation by foreign buyers and those from other provinces is making homes here less affordable, the reality is that at 84%, the vast majority of buyers in this area are BC residents, and that figure changes only slightly year over year” says Beer adding “Clearly, the solution to greater affordability lies elsewhere.