Every month the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board sends out a survey to Rea Estate Agents that had made a purchase in the month to get a sense of what the situation of the buyer.
The August survey will not be available until next month, however, looking at the months during the pandemic and the type of properties buyers were purchasing.
Despite British Columbia battling an unemployment rate of 10.7% in August the housing market has substantially outperformed last year's numbers in July and August. The types of properties being purchased can give us a bit of insight on who is making the purchases and if there are any new trends.
58% of buyers in July from within the board in comparison to Q2 of 62%, comparing the numbers with July 2019 63% of buyers in that month were from within the board.
Going back to the start of 2019, March and August in 2019 were the only months that had buyers from within the board making under 60% of the purchases, the average in 2019 was 62% of buyers which is right on track with our Q2 average. That being said we saw higher than normal sales from within the board in March and April due to travel restrictions resulting from the pandemic of 68% and 65% from within the board. Since then May, June and July those numbers have all been below 60%.
Not having allowed enough time to pass to know if this is a trend that will widen the gap, the feeling from myself and my colleagues is that this is a trend that we expect to continue in the short term at least. It very well could just be a temporary adjustment to the new normal or a bit of pent up demand of people that had been waiting for the right time to make the moves.
Regardless it appears that people are learning to work from home these days and choosing the Okanagan for its weather (buyers from the prairies) or buyers looking for more space (Lower Mainland Buyers) we are expecting the trend to continue.
Regardless of the situation, right now the demand is continuing and the reduced supply is keeping prices strong despite the weak at best job numbers.
Want to view the buyer surveys feel free to download the PDF here.
Have a great week.