Stable real estate market for 2013 in South Okanagan
A large drop in property sales through December isn't causing concern for realtor Judy Klassen.
The president of the South Okanagan Real Estate Board said that December is traditionally a slow month for real estate sales. Though there was a 45 per cent drop in December 2012 as compared to the same month in 2011, Klassen said the market was overall stable through 2012.
“As realtors we find that a lot of people don’t want to move during Christmas,” said Klassen, noting that this is just a comparison for the single month. “Everywhere you will notice there are drops normally in sales at this time of year.”
Klassen said sales are down a little bit throughout the South Okanagan.
“2012 was just a year where things dropped a bit everywhere,” she said. “Basically we have a flat market. The first half of 2012 was good, the second half we went down a bit.”
Statistics released by SOREB show that larger centres in the South Okanagan experienced a decline in home sales, while smaller communities, like Naramata, Kaleden and Princeton had small increases in sales. Throughout the area, 52 units were sold, compared to 95 in Dec. 2011.
That translates to a decrease in sales of 41 per cent: $17,230,600 in Dec. 2012 compared to $28,987,700 in Dec. 2011. At the same time, the average selling price of a single family home was up, increasing from $331,358 to $305,134 over the same region through December.
“For buyers, it’s a good time to buy. Interests rates are good. I think a lot of consumers are in a wait and see attitude, waiting to see if prices are going to fall some more,” said Klassen, who thinks that prices have reached their lower limit.
“Prices are up a little bit, but nothing significant. No huge price increases in most areas,” said Klassen. “I think buyers will realize that now is the time to buy, that prices aren’t going to get much lower.”
“We will start to see a bit of a pick up. Overall, year to date, the South Okanagan looked to be about a two per cent drop over year to year,” she said.
Klassen predicts more of the same for 2013, that the market will remain stable.
“There could be a modest increase in sales, but I don’t expect anything, no significant increases until 2014,” she said. “We are pretty much in a stable market, Year to year, we are basically up two per cent. And I don’t expect there to be too much of a drop over this year.”