Okanagan housing market cools slightly, but prices still sky high

Benchmark price hits $900K

The Central Okanagan housing market, which had been running red hot at record levels for the last few months, has finally taken a bit of a breather.

Prices, however, are still stuck in the stratosphere.

Data from May, which was released Thursday by the Association of Interior Realtors, revealed the benchmark price for a single-family home in the Central Okanagan has topped the $900,000 mark for the first time. The benchmark price, which represents a dwelling with typical attributes to those traded in the area, checked in at a whopping $901,600, which was up from $880,000 in April.

One year ago, the benchmark price for a single-family home in the Central Okanagan was $685,900. Prices have shot up $120,000 in three months.

While the single-family benchmark price increase wasn't as substantial last month, the same can’t be said about townhomes. The benchmark price in the Central Okanagan jumped a remarkable 10.9% last month, going from $560,900 in April to $621,800 in May.

“There is a slight reduction in pressure that is creating a calming effect for a healthier market for both buyers and sellers,” AIR president Kim Heizmann said in a press release. “We are seeing an easing up on the gas pedal that has been going above the speed limit, to now moving within a reasonable pace.

“While the market may be slowing down from an all-time record, it does not mean the market has softened. It means the buyer frenzy has calmed down slightly.”

The situation in the North Okanagan is similar, as the benchmark price of a single-family home hit $641,100 in May. That was up from $617,000 in April, which represents a 3.9% leap. The shocking number, though, is the benchmark price in January was only $541,900.

The townhome price in the North Okanagan increased only $6,100 between April and May, checking in at $424,400 last month.

There were 1,482 residential sales in May, down from 1,719 in April, in the AIR region, which covers Revelstoke in the east to Eastgate Manning Park in the west as well as the South Peace River area.

The number of active listings dropped from 2,818 to 2,554.

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