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‘Fantastic start’: Sales, prices up in South Okanagan real estate market

SOREB reports that total MLS sales in the South Okanagan increased to 118 units sold in January 2020 compared to 79 total units sold in January 2019.
SOREB reports that total MLS sales in the South Okanagan increased to 118 units sold in January 2020 compared to 79 total units sold in January 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

The South Okanagan Real Estate Board (SOREB) said the local real estate market is off to a “fantastic start” with total sales and prices up in January compared to one year ago.

SOREB reports that total MLS sales in the South Okanagan increased by 49 per cent to 118 units sold in January 2020 compared to 79 total units sold during the same period in 2019.

READ MORE: ‘We are coming into a normalized market’ — Sales, prices steady in South Okanagan real estate

“We’ve been off to a fantastic start to the year. We saw 2019 end strong after a slow start. We are anticipating growth through 2020,” said president Lyndi Cruickshank on Monday.

Number of sales in South Okanagan communities in January 2020 compared to January 2019.
Number of sales in South Okanagan communities in January 2020 compared to January 2019. The South Okanagan Real Estate Board

“We are still sitting with good interest rates, so interest rates are low, and I think that people are feeling more positive about what is happening in B.C. and to make moves in the market.”

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Meanwhile, the South Okanagan recorded 1,537 active listings for January 2020, a decrease of three per cent from last January’s 1,577 active listings.

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“Typically what happens when inventories are lower and the demand is higher, we do see homes starting to sell at a faster pace,” Cruickshank said.

READ MORE: Banner year for real estate sales in the south Okanagan

“Through the South Okanagan in January, we saw days on market down 13 per cent, and single-family homes was down 21 per cent, so that’s a fairly significant change in our days on market, and that comes from the demand that’s out there.”

Cruickshank anticipates the active market will drive prices up five per cent over 2019.

Average selling price in South Okanagan communities in January 2020 compared to January 2019.
Average selling price in South Okanagan communities in January 2020 compared to January 2019. The South Okanagan Real Estate Board

The average selling price of a home in Penticton last month was $626,489, compared to $483,285 in January 2019, however SOREB notes the average selling price can be significantly impacted by one, or just a few,  higher- or lower-priced property sales.

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Cruickshank added that condos, townhouses and duplexes are in high demand in the South Okanagan.

READ MORE: Home sales soar in south Okanagan

“To delay, waiting for the snow to melt, might not be the best idea. It’s typically a great time to see your house on the market — people are excited when the new year starts,” she said.

Total sales dollar volume for the board increased by 45 per cent at month‐end to $47,777,777 in January 2020 compared to $33,044,007 in January 2019.