Despite Alberta's financial troubles, Okanagan real estate demand outpaces supply - InfoNews

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Despite Alberta's financial troubles, Okanagan real estate demand outpaces supply

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June 04, 2016 - 10:30 AM


KELOWNA – While Albertans may be buying fewer retirement and recreation homes in Kelowna, that void is being filled by buyers who can’t afford property in the Lower Mainland.

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board says in its monthly report residential sales were up 35.5 per cent last month compared to the same month in 2015.

In the three regions served by the Board, Central Okanagan, Northern Okanagan and Shuswap-Revelstoke, it took an average of 77 days to sell a home, compared with 92 days in May 2015.

“In this type of market, consumers can expect to see rising prices, short turn-arounds between when a property is listed and when it is sold, and situations where there are multiple offers on a listing,” Real Estate Board president Anthony Bastiaanssen says in a media release. “We’ve not seen the impact that we might have expected with the drop in Albertans buying retirement and recreation properties.”

Decreased supply is also driving up prices, with 19 per cent fewer listings last month compared to one year earlier.

“While short supply is having an effect on prices, housing starts are up dramatically,” he says. “Hopefully, we’ll see the situation ease as new supply comes on the market.”

While job growth is strong elsewhere in B.C., employment growth for the Okanagan region have been less impressive, particularly in the manufacturing sector where jobs have been lost, according to the release.

“While the market trends are consistent across all three markets, they are most pronounced in the Central and North Zone regions," Bastiaanssen says.

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