South Okanagan real estate market holding middle ground - InfoNews

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South Okanagan real estate market holding middle ground

The South Okanagan real estate market is in a lukewarm state as it falls from recent highs into more average territory.
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April 10, 2019 - 10:44 AM

PENTICTON - It’s not the best of times, and it’s not the worst of times for the South Okanagan real estate market as March statistics indicate a drop in the number of homes sold through the board compared to March of 2018.

“Looking past the monthly ups and downs, the bigger picture so far in 2019 is one of average supply and average demand, with sales running in between the lows of the 2009 to 2013 period and the highs of more recent years,” South Okanagan Real Estate Board President Dori Lionello says.

Lionello says the market is back in well balanced territory compared to sellers’ market conditions of the last few years.

Deborah Moore is the broker owner of Re/Max offices in Penticton, Summerland and Osoyoos. She says in an email the biggest challenge realtors are facing with buyers in the South Okanagan is in dealing with the effects of the mortgage stress test which is resulting in otherwise qualified buyers being eliminated from buying a home today.

“We seem to be dealing with an inordinate amount of buyers with a house to sell which generally indicates a market hesitancy. This isn’t new as historically during an election year we often experience conservative behaviour,” she says, adding realtors are also facing a challenge from some buyers who hear reports of declining sales and interpret the news as a percentage decline in pricing.

Moore says inventory levels, although up, remain a challenge for buyers, as levels are still below those seen between 2010 to 2016.

She says the South Okanagan market is very consistent in terms of various types of housing sold, with single family homes making up almost half of Re/Max sales, followed by condominium and townhouse options.

Moore says the the decline in sales is being felt across Canada.

In the South Okanagan, March sales were down 28.1 per cent from a year ago, at 128 units sold compared to 176 in March, 2018.

The average price of a house rose in March to $380,166 from $375,624 a year ago, but year to date prices were down at $386,023 compared to $396,971 last year.

There were 334 new residential listings in March, compared to 324 new listings a year ago, for an increase of 3.7 per cent.

Sales of all property types fell 31.4 per cent from last year’s 204 units to 142 units this year, with the total value of all properties sold down 41.9 per cent to $54.5 million from $92.8 million in March, 2018.

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