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House prices in Okanagan, Shuswap continue to climb during pandemic: real estate board

A Vancouver-based home inspector says buyers who submit condition-free offers and forgo a home inspection are gambling with their future.
A Vancouver-based home inspector says buyers who submit condition-free offers and forgo a home inspection are gambling with their future. Global News

It appears to be a seller’s market when it comes to real estate in B.C.’s Southern Interior.

According to the latest statistics from the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB), residential sales for July from Peachland to Revelstoke increased 38 per cent compared to June.

The board also said sales are up 35 per cent compared to this time last year, while adding that the benchmark prices for single-family homes rose, with inventory dropping.

Read more: Real estate sales, house prices rising in Central Okanagan

For the Central Okanagan, the benchmark price in July for a single-family home rose 5.7 per cent to $697,000, with 1,055 homes for sale, an inventory drop of 19 per cent.

For the North Okanagan, the benchmark price in July for a single-family home rose 5.0 per cent to $501,600, with 452 homes for sale, an inventory drop of 13.7 per cent.

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For the Shuswap and Revelstoke, the benchmark price in July for a single-family home rose 3.2 per cent to $447,500, with 208 homes for sale, an inventory drop of 37.9 per cent.

Overall, there were 336 single-family home sales in the Central Okanagan, 148 in the North Okanagan and 74 in the Shuswap and Revelstoke.

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OMREB said new residential listings remained the same as last month, with 1,494 new listings, yet saw an 18 per cent increase over the same time last year.

However, it noted that the overall number of active listings however fell 2 per cent from June’s inventory of 3,962, and was 14 per cent lower compared to last year July’s inventory of 4,527.

“We are seeing a pent-up demand propped up by consumer’s desire for more space in the wake of the pandemic,” said OMREB President Kim Heizmann, adding that “while this is not normal market activity, there is nothing typical about 2020.”

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While single-family home prices increased, for townhouses, it was a mixed bag.

For the Central Okanagan, the benchmark price in July for a townhome dropped 0.9 per cent to $472,800, with 383 units for sale, an inventory drop of 0.5 per cent.

For the North Okanagan, the benchmark price in July for a townhome increased 3.6 per cent to $367,500, with 129 units for sale, an inventory drop of 12.2 per cent.

For the Shuswap and Revelstoke, the benchmark price in July for a townhome increased 3.7 per cent to $367,700, with 63 units for sale, the same as June.

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Like single-family homes, apartments and condos in the region also saw a rise in activity.

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For the Central Okanagan, the benchmark price in July for a condo or apartment increased 3.4 per cent to $383,200, with 707 units for sale, an inventory increase of 10.5 per cent.

For the North Okanagan, the benchmark price in July for a condo or apartment increased 2.2 per cent to $241,400, with 82 units for sale, an inventory increase of 15.5 per cent.

And for the Shuswap and Revelstoke, the benchmark price in July for a condo or apartment increased 2.9 per cent to $342,600, with 45 units for sale, an inventory decrease of 4.3 per cent.

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Notably, OMREB says it uses benchmark pricing rather than average or medium pricing, “as it represents a dwelling with ‘typical attributes’ to those traded in the area,” while adding “averages can be misleading due to atypical transactions.”

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For more about OMREB, click here.

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