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The Okanagan’s summer was predictably hot once again, but the region’s housing market entered the sixth consecutive month of cooling sales.
There were 709 sales in August across the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB), marking a 5% drop compared to July and a significant 20% tumble from sales numbers in August of 2017.
While a pullback from the high sales numbers of last year was expected, real estate professionals are pointing to the influence of government intervention as one reason for falling numbers.
“We are now six months into a cooling trend, with a curb in demand arising from natural market shifts, but intensified by government intervention in the form of tougher mortgage rules, higher interest rates and the threat of a possible speculation tax,” says OMREB President Marv Beer.
With a decrease in sales came an increase in average days on market, which jumped from 65 to 78 days between July and August.
Increasing days on market could signal the beginning of downward pressure on the average price on Okanagan homes, that came in at $511,916 for August.
However, the region's cooling sales market also highlights an ease in the chronic shortage of housing supply, with OMREB reporting an over 25% increase in available home compared to this time last year.
Summarized, OMREB notes the pullback in demand coupled with an increase in the number of homes for sale continues to move the region’s housing market towards balanced conditions, meaning downward pricing adjustments could be on the horizon.