Housing prices in South Okanagan, Kamloops higher than B.C. average

Penticton and the rest of the South Okanagan saw the highest increases in home prices in B.C. last month.
Penticton and the rest of the South Okanagan saw the highest increases in home prices in B.C. last month.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO

March was a record-setting month for the B.C. real estate market with sales hitting an all-time high.

When it comes to price increases, both the South Okanagan (37.2 per cent) and Kamloops (27.2 per cent) surpassed the provincial average of 20.2 per cent. That’s based on two recent reports about the industry.

The B.C. Real Estate Association reported there were 15,073 homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service in B.C. in March. It eclipses the old record for sales in a single month that was set in May 2016 when 13,482 homes sold.

March’s sales numbers were 123.3 per cent higher than March 2020 and the $14.3 billion in sales is a 168.9 per cent increase from last March.

The average price for homes in B.C. was $947,707, a 20.4 per cent increase from $787,032 recorded in March 2020.

“It should be noted that average prices across the province are being skewed higher as more expensive single-detached homes remain a higher share of dollar volume during the pandemic,” the B.C. Real Estate Association report states.

The association’s report doesn’t break down prices by region but that was done by Hellosafe.ca in a separate report. Hellosafe is a comparison platform that compiles data for the insurance industry.

“The figures show that real estate prices are growing the most in cities located at a fair distance from Vancouver,” Hellosafe reports. “With a 37.2 per cent growth in real estate prices over the 12 past months, South Okanagan is the B.C. location where the housing market is growing the fastest all across the province. There, the median real estate transaction price reached $613,806 in March 2021.”

It doesn’t list median prices for other regions of the province but has a bar chart that shows Kamloops prices went up by 27.2 per cent year-over-year while the Okanagan Mainline went up 16 per cent.

Hellosafe used median, rather than average, prices that showed Greater Vancouver, at $1.123 million, having the highest median housing prices in the country.

For the province as a whole, it used a slightly lower average price than the Real Estate Association at $945,936. That still makes B.C. the most expensive province in the country, the report says.

The high prices are fuelled, in part, by low interest rates and, in part, by a shortage of listings, the real estate association report states, but notes the number of new listings is accelerating.

“While the total supply of re-sale listings remains at crisis levels, many markets saw record new listings activity in March,” the real estate association's chief economist Brendon Ogmundson said in the report. “Strong new listings activity will need to continue for some time before markets will see a healthier balance with less pressure on home prices.”

The full B.C. Real Estate Association report can be viewed here.

The full Hellosafe.ca report can be viewed here.

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