Housing shortage continues to push prices up in the Okanagan - InfoNews

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Housing shortage continues to push prices up in the Okanagan

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July 06, 2016 - 7:00 PM

OKANAGAN – It’s taking slightly longer to sell homes but June real estate movement in the Okanagan is up almost 40 per cent over last year.

Following an upward trend in 2016, Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board says 1,263 units were posted last month in the Okanagan. That’s 38 per cent more than the same month in 2015.

“Housing demand continues to be robust in all three regions we serve. While days to sell rose slightly in June to 81 days from 77 in May, consumers looking to buy are still likely to feel pressure to respond quickly and decisively to listings”, OMREB President Anthony Bastiaanssen says. 

The average residential price this past month was $475,091, slightly down from $486,636 in May and representing a 16 per cent increase over the same month last year. In all regions served by OMREB, active listings dropped 21 per cent compared to this time last year.

Of those buying or selling, 58 per cent come from elsewhere in the Okanagan and are either upgrading, downgrading or moving to a similar property. 17 per cent are from the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island, and 12 per cent from Alberta.

“We are seeing more buyers looking to regions outside the core in order to find homes in line with their budget,” Bastiaanssen says. “Average residential pricing that is slightly down from May could be an indication of this, reflecting a higher proportion of lower-priced sales in the make-up of product sold in this time period. Either way, we are still light on supply as compared to demand, so until this situation eases, we will see higher prices.”

Bastiaanssen says until local builders respond to the shortage, prices will continue to be relatively high.

“Currently, we are short of listings in many neighborhoods and across most home types for the number of buyers who wish to buy. This drives prices up, reducing affordability. A more optimal situation is where there is more of a balance between supply and demand.”

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