Home sales slowing in Okanagan, Kamloops but real estate market far from balanced
While there’s continual talk about a red-hot real estate market in the Okanagan and Kamloops, the average housing prices in these regions are significantly lower than in Victoria and the Lower Mainland.
The average price of a home in B.C. surpassed $1 million in December and climbed to $1.096 million in March based on data released by the B.C. Real Estate Association Tuesday, April 12.
In the Okanagan, the average price was $842,162 and in Kamloops it was $667,931.
These figures are an average sale price for all homes in the month. In the Central Okanagan, the average for the more expensive single-family homes is more than $1 million.
The reason the provincial average is higher than $1 million is because 67% of March’s sales were in the Lower Mainland and Victoria.
The average price in March in Greater Vancouver climbed 11.3% from last year to $1,337,447, while the Fraser Valley jumped 18.7% to $1,209,615 and Victoria was up 19.7% to $1,078,643.
The Okanagan average was up by 23.8% while Kamloops up by 22.6%.
That means, the average home in the Okanagan sold for almost $162,000 more than a year ago while the Kamloops price jumped by about $123,000.
This comes at a time when the number of homes listed in the MLS service that were sold in B.C. was down 24.1% to 11,463 from the record high of March 2021.
Of those 11,456 sales, 1,096 were in the Okanagan and 325 in the Kamloops area, for a combined total of 12.4% of the sales in B.C.
“Home sales in the province continue to moderate from record highs of this time last year,” B.C. Real Estate Association chief economist Brendon Ogmundson said in news release. “Given the sharp rise in Canadian mortgage rates and expected tightening from the Bank of Canada, activity will likely slow further in the second half of this year.”
To put the “slowing” real estate market in perspective, Kelowna Re/Max realtor Colin Krieg sent out his own news release. It points out that, even though sales of single-family homes dropped to 301 in March from 413 last year, that’s still well above the 10-year average of 222 single-family home sales.
And, while B.C. listings are down overall from last year, stats from the Association of Interior B.C. Realtors, show that wasn’t the case in Kamloops or the Central Okanagan.
New listings grew by 15.1% in the Kamloops area to 510 and by 3.1% in the Central Okanagan to 1,147.
The South Okanagan was down 43.1% in new listings to 211 while the North Okanagan dropped 11.9% to 334 new listings.
While the market may be easing, with fewer sales and more listings, Krieg notes it’s still a seller’s market.
“We are still a long way from a balanced market, which is where we would see less than 25% of the listings selling,” he wrote.
In the Central Okanagan, 63% of the single-family homes that were listed were sold. That rose to 65% for townhomes and 82% for condos.
“This segment (condos) is the hottest of all currently,” Krieg wrote. “It has almost doubled the sales numbers compared to the March average. While the listing inventory has also begun to climb, it's one third less than this time last year and less than half of the 10-year average. This explains why the percentage of listings selling is so high. We are still seeing multiple offers on condos.”
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