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High demand for real estate in Okanagan, Shuswap in 2020

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. Assessment
January 07, 2021 - 4:30 PM

Real estate sales in the region from the Okanagan through the Shuswap to Revelstoke were up significantly last month, and according to the real estate association it was high demand driving the huge increase in activity.

The 661 home sales in December 2020 in the region from Revelstoke to Peachland covered by the new Association of Interior Realtors was a 65% increase compared to the same month last year, according to an association press release.

The South Okanagan region, from Summerland to Eastgate Manning Park, also saw an unexpected jump of 201 units sold in last month compared to 107 in December 2019.

The Association of Interior Realtors was formed on Jan. 1, through the amalgamation of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board and the South Okanagan Real Estate Board.

“Last year was a very unusual year, after an initial slowdown due to stay-at-home orders from the provincial government we saw a high demand in the real estate market, once orders were lifted that did not wane even in the typically slower months,” says association president Kim Heizmann, in the release.

“Despite unusually high demand, inventory of active listings consistently remained low as buyers snapped up homes almost as soon as they were listed. Particularly in the family-sized homes category.”

Active residential listings for December 2020 from Revelstoke to Peachland fell 35% compared to 2,715 in December 2019, while in the South Okanagan region overall listings saw a slight increase of 11% compared to the previous year’s 158 properties.

“Shortage of supply continues to put upward pressure on pricing as inventory cannot meet the demand. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in the coming months and into the usually busy spring season,” Heizmann says.

The benchmark price for single-family homes in the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan and Shuswap/Revelstoke regions clocked in double-digit percentage increases in year-over-year comparisons.

In the Central Okanagan, prices increased by 13%, in the North Okanagan by 12% and in the Shuswap/Revelstoke area by 13%.

In the South Okanagan, where benchmark pricing is not yet available, the average sales price for single-family homes surged 37% and 15% year-over-year.

The Association of Interior Realtors is a member-based professional organization serving approximately 1,600 realtors who live and work in communities across B.C.'s Interior British Columbia from Revelstoke south to the U.S. border, east to Rock Creek, west to Eastgate Manning Park to communities in the South Peace River region.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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