An­other record-set­ting year looms

Penticton Herald - - NEWS - By JOE FRIES

It’s shap­ing up to be an­other record-set­ting year for prop­erty sales in Pen­tic­ton and the rest of the South Okana­gan. Through the first three quar­ters of 2017, prop­erty worth a to­tal of $432 mil­lion changed hands in the city, up 13 per cent from the same year-ago pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to fresh data from the South Okana­gan Real Es­tate Board.

That leaves Pen­tic­ton just $39 mil­lion away from eclips­ing the an­nual record set in 2016.

So far this year, the av­er­age sin­gle-fam­ily home in the city has sold for $534,000 after 52 days on the market, ver­sus $466,000 after 56 days in 2016.

Also up are the to­tal num­ber of sales, from 975 to 1,027, and new list­ings, from 1,415 to 1,515.

SOREB pres­i­dent Pamela Han­son said ev­ery re­la­tor she knows – in­clud­ing her­self – is run off their feet.

“They’re work­ing some­times with three or four dif­fer­ent buy­ers a day, and there are still peo­ple com­ing look­ing to pur­chase,” she said.

Han­son at­tributes the busy market to for­mer Lower Main­land res­i­dents cash­ing out there and re­lo­cat­ing to the South Okana­gan, along with a re­bound in buy­ers from Al­berta.

A quar­ter-point in­ter­est rate hike by the Bank of Canada last month hasn’t damp­ened spir­its, she added, but changes to mort­gage reg­u­la­tions that go into ef­fect Oct. 17 will make it harder for first-time buy­ers to get into the market.

As a whole, the re­gion saw sales to­talling $955 mil­lion through the first three quar­ters of 2017, mark­ing a four per cent gain from the same year-ago pe­riod. That leaves the South Okana­gan only $145 mil­lion off the an­nual record set in 2016.

Year-over-year de­creases in to­tal sales were recorded in two ar­eas only: Nara­mata, which lost 51 per cent, and Kale­den-Okana­gan Falls, which de­clined 13 per cent.

Nara­mata’s tum­ble is due to ex­cep­tional ac­tiv­ity in 2016, when a flood of bare lots went on the market and prop­er­ties worth $50.2 mil­lion traded in the first three quar­ters, com­pared to an av­er­age of $21.3 mil­lion in the each of the pre­vi­ous three year-ago pe­ri­ods. Through the first three quar­ters of 2017, the to­tal stood at $24.4 mil­lion.

“I don’t think things are down in the sense of de­sire for peo­ple to live in Nara­mata,” said Karla Koza­ke­vich, who rep­re­sents the area on the board of the Regional Dis­trict of Okana­gan-Sim­ilka­meen.

“It seems to me that when a house goes on the market it sells.”

Nara­mata does, how­ever, re­tain the ti­tle of hav­ing the most ex­pen­sive sin­gle-fam­ily homes in the area, where such dwellings have sold for an av­er­age of $709,000 this year.

The most af­ford­able sin­gle-fam­ily homes in the SOREB area can be found in Prince­ton, where the av­er­age sell­ing price rings in at $297,000.

Han­son en­cour­aged any­one think­ing of sell­ing to do so now.

“If you need to get the ab­so­lute most out of your home… this is the time,” she said.

“And if you’re buy­ing in this market, don’t plan on flip­ping it next year. Keep it for seven, eight years and what you buy it for is ir­rel­e­vant – you’ll get it back and then some.”

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