The Pulse: Kelowna Market Review April 2019


Last month I talked about Spring’s arrival; April couldn’t have followed suit any better when it comes to the Kelowna and Central Okanagan Valley real estate market. Where last spring we saw a shift from a seller’s market to a balanced market (and eventually a buyer’s market in the fall and winter), this year we are seeing a shift from a buyer’s market back to a seller’s market.

Sales in April came in at 424, down only 11.3% compared to April 2018 and that’s just one stat. In fact, sales are up nearly 24% from March! When you look at improvement in the market this spring versus last spring, you see that in 2018 sales only increased 16% from February to March so the twenty-four-percent gain this past month is impressive. Sales are definitely on the rise! Before we get into some of the other performance indicators, I want to make specific mention to the single family residential home segment. There were 191 sales of these homes in April representing a staggering 40% increase from March! Not abnormal for this time of year but exactly what we like to see in the spring market. The number of single family residential homes sold moving steadily closer to the levels seen last year; this category was down 25% year-over-year in March but with those 191 sales last month is now down just 15% from the 225 sales seen in April 2018.

Central Okanagan Avg. Selling Price for Past 12 Months by Market Segment

Average Price for Residential Properties is a performance indicator that speaks to purchaser confidence in the market. This figure is an average across all residential categories including: single detached homes, duplexes, condominiums, townhouses, and mobile homes.

The one stat that continues to stand out as different is inventory. Inventory increased by 12.47% this month, typical of the spring “listing season”, but with listings having been mostly up for the past year and sales mostly down the number of listings, sitting at 2,615, is up 30% from this time last year. This is more inventory than we saw at any point last year. Actually, it’s the most we’ve seen in the almost 4 years since August 2015. This heightened level of inventory is arguably one of the most significant factors keeping us experiencing a mostly buyer’s market, except for a few neighbourhood/segments. The overall residential market data from the past month shows we are currently holding 6.17 months of inventory; compared to 4.17 months of inventory in April 2018. This increase in inventory continues to have a noticeable effect on the speed of the market with days on the market at 62 compared to 50 in April 2018. I always like to keep the stats in perspective though so I’ll point out that in April 2015 it was 73, April 2012 it was 92, and April 2009 it was 101!

The average valuation of residential properties was up by 6.37% month-over-month and is down only 2.2% from this time last year. It is also closing in on the gap between the record setting month of July 2018, which arguably was an anomaly. Look at average selling price over all of last year and you’ll get a better feel for how Kelowna real estate is valued in the current market. April’s increase was driven by a substantial increase in Kelowna condo values. This segment saw valuation rise again, up 10% from March to $409,629 - a new record for our market! Look for an upcoming article on which condo buildings are selling the most and other interesting condo market facts and figures. For the single family residential home segment, the story is actually quite a bit different. The segment saw valuation drop for the first time since October 2018, coming down by 3.71% from the recent peak in March to $695,659 and sitting 4.3% below April 2018 and 5.25% below 2018’s peak in March of that year - not counting the month of July. Valuation in this segment appears to continue to be volatile

For single family homes, nearly all neighbourhoods continue to experience a buyer’s market. There are, however, two neighbourhoods bucking the trend and experiencing seller’s markets with their affordable, family-friendly communities:

  1. Glenrosa, West Kelowna: 2.85 MOI (currently 33 homes for sale)

  2. Rutland: 3.51 MOI (currently 93 homes for sale)

  3. Ellison: 4.57 MOI (currently 16 homes for sale)

On the other end of the spectrum, two neighbourhoods that stand out with lots of inventory and offer buyers an opportunity to take advantage of a strong buyer’s market are:

  1. Crawford Estates: 24 MOI (currently 12 homes for sale)

  2. Lower Mission: 22 MOI (currently 88 homes for sale)

  3. Black Mountain: 13.25 MOI (currently 53 homes for sale)

APRIL 2019 - Months of Inventory by Neighbourhood

Months of Inventory is a performance indicator that represents the ratio of active listings to sales in the past month, expressed in terms of how long those currently active listings would supply future demand if the rate of that demand were to continue (Ex. There are 100 home currently listed for sale and in the last month 20 homes sold. 20 homes could be sold each month for the next 5 months without new listings coming on. Therefore, the MOI is 5.)

All data is from OMREB/MLS® System. Interpretations of the data is done with the utmost care and attention, however, errors and omissions may apply. Selling and purchasing real estate comes with risk and should be discussed in depth with your real estate agent of choice.