Southern Interior real estate sales up 60% in January compared to last year

Real estate hits record high

Residential real estate sales hit a record high in the first month of the year in the BC Southern Interior.

The total number of sales in January was up 60 per cent with 796 units sold compared to January 2020’s sales of 497, according to the Association of Interior Realtors — a new organization that includes the former Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board and South Okanagan Real Estate Board.

In the Shuswap and Revelstoke region, property sales were up 50 per cent from 40 units in 2020 to 60 in January 2021. The South Okanagan region, stretching from Summerland to Eastgate saw the highest increase of dollar volume with a 136 per cent hike compared to the same time last year.

“Hikes in sale dollar volume is another impact of COVID-19 as buyers are seeking out larger spaces to improve their living conditions,” says Association of Interior Realtors President Kim Heizmann.

Larger homes naturally come with a larger price tag, however, the association says it saw pressure on pricing driven by a shortage of inventory that is unable to meet consumer demand.

Active residential listings for January from Revelstoke to Peachland remained on par with December 2020’s listings but remained short 37 per cent compared to January 2020’s inventory of 2,806.

In the South Okanagan region, overall listings remained low as decreases were noted in all housing categories. Inventory for condominiums remain low in the South Peace River region with a 27 per cent decrease compared to the same period last year.

“A chronic shortage of new condominium developments in areas such as the South Peace River region or Revelstoke makes it even harder for inventory to meet demand, particularly when such areas are driven by recreational property purchases,” says Heizmann.

The benchmark price for single-family homes in the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan and Shuswap/Revelstoke regions saw increases in year-over-year comparisons with the most notable increase being in 14 per cent in the single-family category.

In the South Okanagan, average sales prices showed double-digit increases year-over-year, while average sale prices for condominiums in the South Peace River are rose 69 per cent in comparison to January 2020 prices.

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