BCREA’s 2014 Housing Forecast for the South Okanagan Strong

Last month the BC Real Estate Association released their annual Housing Forecast for the Province and
their outlook for the South Okanagan is rosier than ever.
Their economists wrote “Consumer demand 
for housing in the South Okanagan has trended higher in recent years.

Stronger economic conditions and rising home prices in Alberta are contributing to increased interest from retirement and recreation buyers. In addition, a less favourable exchange rate and higher prices in the US are shifting the attention 
of many potential buyers back to the Okanagan. With the BC economy expected to grow at a more 
robust pace over the next two years, domestic demand for housing will move higher as well.”

This is logical, considering the Canadian dollar is currently worth ten cents less than our American 
neighbours and a full 20 cents less than the value we were trading at in 2011 and 2012, the two 
strongest years for Canadians buying property South of the border. Furthermore, consumer confidence 
is back amongst South Okanagan residents as there is better job stability at home and far more 
optimism for the economic future. BCRE said that as a result of these two factors, “MLS® residential 
sales through the South Okanagan Real Estate Board area are forecast to increase 5.3 per cent to 1,475 
units this year and a further 3.4 per cent to 1,525 units in 2015.”

Another interesting observation is that inventory has decreased and historical sales prices are expected 
to increase. They report “the inventory of homes for sale has trended lower since 2011 and is 32 per 
cent lower than the previous peak. As a result of the reduction in supply and rising consumer demand, 
balanced market conditions are emerging in the South Okanagan for the first since in a number of 
years. The average MLS® residential price is forecast to increase 1.1 per cent to $302,400 this year and a 
further 1.2 per cent to $306,000 in 2015.” 

The rising strength of the South Okanagan market is coming hot on the heels of record market 
conditions only 45 minutes away. Just this month the Okananagn Mainline Real Estate Board reported 
May sales volume in both the Central and North Okanagan surpassed the number of sales in 2007 for 
the same month. Darcy Griffiths, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the North Okanagan 
reports “Spring sales activity in the Okanagan-Shuswap is much stronger than in previous years. 
Following five months of steady growth in sales with inventory down despite listings being up, 
OMREB has moved firmly into balanced market conditions.”

Overall, it is evident that the real estate climate in the Okanagan has improved and is continuing to 
do so. Right now is a great time to purchase while prices are favorable for consumers and interest 
rates are still low.

Please give us a call if you would like to explore ownership in the South Okanagan 
at 1.866.453.9797 or sales@ownwatermark.com.

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