Central Okanagan benchmark home price falls for third straight month – Kelowna News

Written by Javed Iqbal

For the first time in at least five years, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Central Okanagan has fallen for the third month in a row.

The Association of Interior Realtors released its July report on Friday, and it contained yet more evidence that the housing market has cooled significantly in recent months after running red hot through most of 2021 and the early part of 2022.

The benchmark cost for a single-family home in the Central Okanagan last month was $1.06 million, representing a relatively large decrease of 4.7%. The benchmark reached an all-time high of $1.13 million in April, but has now fallen for three consecutive months for the first time since at least early 2017.

AIR said the July market simply returned to pre-pandemic activity, noting that there were 1,196 residential unit sales across the region last month. That represented a 33.3% decrease from July 2021.

“Seasonally, it is not unusual to see a drop in sales in the summer, although real estate market activity in most regions of the province was below average last month, not just in the interior,” AIR president Lyndi Cruickshank said in a press release.

“A number of factors, or even a combination of factors, such as interest rate increases, the resumption of travel and the school break, could all be reasons why consumers put a pause on their property plans while they focused on enjoying the warm summer days.”

Another reason for the price and sales drop is probably the number of vacant homes. There were 56.8% more ads across the AIR region in July compared to the same month last year. There were 92.1% more listings in the Central Okanagan compared to 12 months ago.

“We are seeing inventory begin to accumulate, slowly moving upward to healthier inventory levels, which is a welcome relief to potential buyers,” Cruickshank said. “But the higher mortgage rates are still impacting the housing market, with some homebuyers finding it harder to qualify for mortgages.”

The benchmark price of a single-family home in the North Okanagan also fell in July, falling from $798,500 in June to $774,400 last month. That price has fallen in the past two months, the first time it has fallen since April 2020.

The cooling market did not affect the benchmark townhouse price in the Central Okanagan, as that figure rose 2.6% in July to $783,500.

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Javed Iqbal

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