Okanagan real estate market price increase expected to continue

Housing market stays pricey

Casey Richardson

The real estate market for the first quarter of 2021 continues to tell the same tale in the Okanagan, high sale prices and low inventory.

“It hasn’t changed, we have continued to have almost the exact same story in the news,” Kim Heizmann, president for the Association of Interior Realtors said. “With inventory being at an all time low and buyer demand continuing to rise due to the change in focus of lifestyle, specifically for the Okanagan.

“People are wanting to come here with the ability to work remotely, which is pushing the buyer demand up and with the lack of inventory that is also punching pricing up.”

Local real estate markets have also seen an increase of sales promoting a vacation lifestyle.

“We’re talking about ski hills, we’re talking about lake-front properties, close to wineries, acreage space. Anything that offers any kind of lifestyle that the Okanagan offers we have seen an increase of people wanting to buy those properties.”

Low inventory for house listings throughout the interior isn’t anything new either, rather an issue that’s been around since 2019 and continued to be decline stock throughout the pandemic.

“Therefore that inventory continued to be low. Then you watch the buyer demand continue to grow and eat up the inventory and it also fuels the fact that more and more inventory is being eaten up,” Heizmann added.

As it stands right now, the expectation is for this sellers market to continue until inventory numbers start to grow again.

“Until we start to see a change in the amount of listings coming on and the buyer’s purchases start to drop a little bit, we don’t have any indication that the market is going to change yet.”

The best advice for homebuyers from Heizmann at this time is to make sure you’re working with a professional realtor.

“Now of all the times is when you need that professional on your side making sure that they’re watching inventory, making sure that they’re guiding you through this process. Because it is fast moving and that too is going to guide you through finding the right property...Hopefully positioning you to be successful in whatever real estate goals that you have.”

Sales in the Central Okanagan rose by around 136 per cent, 83 per cent in the North Okanagan and 81 per cent in the South Okanagan throughout February. Inventory throughout all areas declined by between 40 to 50 per cent compared to last year.

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