Okanagan real estate market levelling out after interest rate hike

By Kathy Michaels Global News

Okanagan realtors are seeing signs that the market is becoming “healthier” in the wake of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate hike.

According to the Association of Interior Realtors, a total of 1,708 residential unit sales were recorded across the Shuswap and Okanagan in April, which is a 31.9 per cent decrease compared to a record-high number of units sold in April 2021. Inventory was also on the rise.

“It is important to remember that this is not the same market we had a year ago. For almost the entire year in 2021 we had record highs each month, so to say sales are down does not mean they are low — they are just lower in comparison to a time of unusual real estate market activity,” Association of Interior Realtors president Lyndi Cruickshank said.

“The current rising interest rate environment will naturally slow things down bringing real estate activity back to a healthier market.”

In early March, the Bank of Canada hiked its key interest rate to 0.5 per cent, then bumped it to one per cent on April 13.

South Okanagan real estate inventory down 57% from last year.

The number of new residential listings coming onto market in April dropped by 5.6 per cent within the region, with 2,990 new listings recorded compared to the same period last year.

That said, they were up compared to the 2,871 listings on the market a month prior.

The overall active listings increased 13.6 per cent, with 4,938 listings in year-over-year comparisons.

The benchmark price for homes in the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, South Okanagan and Shuswap/Revelstoke regions remained consistent with double-digit percentage increases in year-over-year comparisons for another consecutive month across all home categories, with the greatest increase being for condominiums in the North Okanagan.

The benchmark price for a Central Okanagan home was up to $1.13 million in the Central Okanagan, which is a rise of 26.9 per cent compared to the year earlier. In the North Okanagan, a single-family home’s benchmark price is now $788,600 which is a rise of 26.2 per cent year over year, while in the South Okanagan the benchmark price is now $771,000 which is a rise of 26.5 per cent.

The benchmark price for condominiums in the North Okanagan recorded a 29.8 per cent increase compared to April 2021, coming in at $353,400.

Benchmark house price reaches $1 million in the Central Okanagan

The average number of days to sell a home, always a good barometer to watch, Cruickshank said, dropped down to 39 days from 46 days last month.

It’s important to note that the average of days on market is for the entire Okanagan region and that the indicator will vary depending on home type and sub-region.

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