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More choice, fewer buyers bodes well for Central Okanagan real estate market

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

Statistics issued every month only tell part of the real estate story in the Central Okanagan.

Realtors like Re/Max Colin Krieg with Re/Max tell a different and more detailed story.

Krieg said in a video posted to YouTube that single-family home listings are at their highest level in a decade and with historically slow sales, it's definitely a buyer’s market.

“It’s good for buyers,” he said in a video posted on his website and YouTube this week. “They have more to choose from. There is less competition amongst buyers and the best part is, they can negotiate. The average sale prices is 4% below asking. That’s huge. Normally it’s 2 to 2.5%, 4% is insane.”

The market slowed dramatically last year because of rising interest rates. The Bank of Canada's overnight rate has been sitting at 5% since July 2023.

There is speculation that rates will fall by as much as 1.5% this year but there is no consensus on whether that may start happening in April, July or at all.

“I suspect we will see something closer to 0.5-1.0% reduction in interest rates this year,” Krieg wrote on his website.

He also pointed out that the dramatic 23% increase in single-family house sales this January compared to last year is misleading.

“We are comparing the second slowest January (2024) to the slowest January (2023) in 15 years,” he posted. “It's no surprise sales are up.”

In fact, compared to the average for the past 10 years, single-family house sales were down 30% in January, he posted.

READ MORE: Sales and prices up in Kamloops, Okanagan real estate markets

While the benchmark price for single-family homes was up 2.3% to $989,800 compared to last year, the median sale price was $875,000, meaning half the sales were lower than that.

“This gives some great insight into where the market is most busy and it's no surprise that it's the low end,” Krieg said.

On the other hand, five of the 79 houses sold in January brought in more than $2 million. There are now 120 homes, excluding lakefront, that are listed for sale for more than $2 million in the Central Okanagan.

Sales of townhomes were down 20% in January, the slowest it has been for the past 12 years, Krieg wrote.

Condo sales were near their 10-year average for the number of units sold with 80% selling for less than $600,000.

See Krieg’s full report and video here.

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