COVID-19 cools down Okanagan house sales, but prices still hot

Home prices still climbing

The number of home sales in Central and North Okanagan are moving on an upward trajectory when compared to recent months – but they are nowhere near where they were a year ago, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board reported Tuesday that the number of May sales in its region, which stretches from Peachland to Revelstoke, was 446, up from 299 in April. However, that figure is down 42% from this time last year.

Prices also increased in both the Central and North Okanagan last month.

OMREB’s benchmark price, which represents a dwelling with typical attributes to those traded in the area, increased 4.8% for a single-family home in Central Okanagan (to $685,900) and 3% in North Okanagan (to $487,500).

“While we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, it is encouraging to see that residential sales are moving at an upward trajectory,” OMREB president Kim Heizmann said in a press release. “We are starting to see a return to real estate activity which looks promising for the future. However, we remain cautious about predicting future outcomes as many economic factors will have impacts.

“Virtual tours and alternative technological solutions have ensured that real estate transactions can continue to transpire responsibly.”

There was a 49% increase in home listings across the region when compared to April, but the number of homes on the market is down 16% when compared to last year at this time.

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