The real estate market across the Okanagan remains challenging for both buyers and sellers, says the president of the Association of Interior Realtors.
“Not only are new buyers frustrated at finding a home, but sellers are frustrated at the lack of active supply hindering their ability to move on to a new property as well,” said Kim Heizmann in releasing the association’s January sales statistics this week.
Benchmark prices have increased from 30 to 42.5 per cent for single-family homes across the association’s region, topped by the Central Okanagan now crossing the six-figure plateau at $1,037,500 (36.4 per cent).
Elsewhere, the North Okanagan sits at $711,600 (30 per cent increase), Shuswap/Revelstoke at $638,200 (26.6 per cent) and South Okanagan at $699,000 (42.5 per cent).
But while housing prices are escalating, the urge to sell and cash in is tempered by rising prices and limited inventory in both the townhouse and condo/apartment categories.
Residential sales for the entire Association region for January 2022, saw a 10 per cent decrease compared to the same month last year, with 701 units sold last month compared to 782 units in January 2021.
The supply of active residential listings dipped 38 per cent across the association region compared to the 2,787 active listings in January 2021, coming in at 1,721 last month.
New listings also saw a downtick at 824 for January 2022, compared to 1,094 units for the same month last year.
In the townhouse category, the benchmark prices across the region for January were Central Okanagan, $697,300; North Okanagan, $460,100; Shuswap/Revelstoke, $493,300; and South Okanagan, $38,400.
For the condo/apartment category, benchmark prices were Central Okanagan, $515,700; North Okanagan, $326,500; Shuswap/Revelstoke, $416,400; and South Okanagan, $387,300.
In a recent interview with Black Press Media, the chief economist for the B.C. Real Estate Association the demand from across Canada for people to live in the Okanagan-Shuswap region reaches beyond the housing inventory available.
Brendon Ogmundson said he thinks the Okanagan real estate market will find some stabilization on the second half of 2022, possibly fostered by a rise in interest rates long prognosticated by the Bank of Canada but yet to happen.
For first-time buyers, Ogmundson suggested buyers find their place financially in the marketplace and look at starting to build market equity for up to the next five years until the current market cycle changes.
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