PENTICTON - The South Okanagan real estate market had a strong 2015 and is already starting the new year off on an optimistic note, according to a local real estate agent.
Penticton real estate agent Scott Rowlands says 2015 was a very good market locally, with units sold up 19 per cent over 2014.
“Listings are also up, but not as much as sales,” the certified senior real estate specialist says, noting the 1,070 sales in 2015 were up significantly over the 897 in 2014.
Penticton listings were also up in 2015, with 1,782 last year compared to 1,620 in 2014.
In the South Okanagan Real Estate Board catchment area, which runs from Summerland to Osoyoos and west to Princeton, 2,322 units sold last year compared to 2,013 in 2014, and there were 4,965 listings compared to 4,680 in 2014.
Rowlands says the declining inventory is starting to put pressure on prices, especially on entry-level units in the $350,000 to $500,000 range.
“In the $300,000 to $400,000 range, there’s not very much at all,” he says.
He points to a Ridgedale Avenue property in Penticton, listed at $375,000, that he has shown 25 times in recent weeks.
“There are lots of buyers in that price range, but they are savvy, too,” he says.
Rowlands expects the trend to continue, with a strong spring anticipated. He says it’s nice territory to be in, after the 'brutal years' of 2009 to 2013.
In terms of demographics, Rowlands says statistics indicate approximately 15 per cent of sales in November last year were made up of first time buyers, while 21 per cent were in the market to upgrade their properties. Three per cent of sales involved customers moving into retirement centres or a seniors community, while 18 per cent were in the market to downsize their property. Twenty-five clients out of a total of 41 were from within the boundaries of the South Okanagan Real Estate Board.
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