Another record-setting year looms
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.”