Better outlook for buyers and sellers in the South Okanagan real estate market as listings return to normal

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Casey Richardson

South Okanagan real estate is showing signs of increasing activity, with statistics from August's residential real estate sales suggesting that future market activity is on a more even path now that listing numbers have returned.

The market finally cooled at the start of summer after months of low inventory and growing prices impacted buyers and sellers.

Lyndi Cruickshank, the president of the Association of Interior Realtors said that there is some positive movement with more listings coming on the market.

"We're still seeing a number of buyers, both within our community and coming from some of the outer areas," she said.

"I think it's really good movement. We've come from a place where we saw the absolute bare minimum of inventory that we've historically ever seen available on market, which made it so hard for anyone that was even looking at selling their home."

Listing continued to be stagnant as sellers were hesitant to put their homes on market.

Sales were down last month, but home inventory has jumped up with an over 30 per cent increase.

"I think we will continue to see the increase of homes coming on the market, I do fully believe that we'll continue to see buyers in the market, the demand is still there," Cruickshank said.

"My experience is that August is one of the quietest months that we have. Everybody's busy tying in those last days of summer vacation and getting the kids connected and just spending time with families."

Historically, Cruickshank said that September seems to be the month when people get back into looking at listing on the market or looking to make that move into a purchase.

"Buyers now have far more choice, [but] inventories are actually still pretty limited. When we say that the market has come up, it's come up from an absolute low. So we're really seeing things more settle out to a place of normality. But when you're looking backwards at where it was, it feels like such a huge shift."

The South Okanagan saw another increase for single-family homes, with the benchmark price reaching over $791,000, up nearly 13 per cent year-over-year.

Prices are expected to level out in the coming months.

"We are starting to see a bit of a softening on prices. And that's that was inevitable. We can't continue to see prices just go up and up and up. There has to come a time when things start to balance out and that's what we're doing right now."

Inflation and interest rates continue to be contributing factors.

"I think that certainly, interest rate increases have cooled the market. And inflation has also played a role in that. Where do we go from here? I think we'll have to wait and see."

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