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Real estate prices fall in Central and South Okanagan

For the first time in a long time, the benchmark price for a single-family home in the Central Okanagan, and the average price in the South Okanagan, have dropped month over month.

The latest report from the Association of Interior Realtors shows the benchmark price for a single-family house in the Central Okanagan was $923,500, a 27% increase over September 2020.

What the report doesn’t mention is that the benchmark price in the association's August report was $961,800.

The South Okanagan region only reports average prices. It saw a 7.8% increase in single-family home prices compared to last year, rising to $675,600. But that’s a big drop from $780,072 in August.

The report shows that prices for similar homes in the North Okanagan rose to $687,400, a 33% increase from last year and up from $682,700 in August.

READ MORE: Home sales on track for record-breaking year in Kamloops

In the Shuswap/Revelstoke region, the benchmark for a single-family home jumped 33.3% from last year to $635,800. That was up from $615,100 in August.

“There has been a lot of talk about high demand and, while we are still seeing a strong demand, it actually is within a healthy range," association president Kim Heizmann, said in a news release issued today, Oct. 5. “The amount of supply is just so low, creating an imbalance that makes demand seem overwhelming.”

There was no explanation as to why the prices of some housing categories fell.

There was a different pattern in other housing categories, although they all showed increases over last year.

Townhomes increased in value in the Central Okanagan to $675,300 in September compared to $644,800 in August. In all other regions values fell in September, most significantly in the South Okanagan that saw a drop from an average of $594,322 in August to $447,200 in September.

Condos, on the other hand, increased in value everywhere but the South Okanagan.

The Central Okanagan had the highest benchmark price at $478,300, up from $473,100 in August. The South Okanagan average condo price dropped to $394,608 from $448,172 in August.

The real issue in the Okanagan real estate market is that new listings continue to be very low, down 40% from September 2020.

But, things seem to be changing on that front.

“Usually, we do see an influx of new listings in the fall once children go back to school and families want to move before the Christmas holiday, and we are starting to see that with new listings coming on the market,” Heizmann said. “So, seasonally, the real estate market is showing signs of pre-pandemic normalcy.”

The 1,067 September sales in the real estate board’s territory (which includes South Peace River) marks a 29% drop from last year.

The real estate market started taking off in September 2020 as COVID triggered a shift to working from home that saw big increases in prices driven by high demand and a low number of new listings.

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