Red-hot real estate

Local realtors enjoyed a 53% increase in the total value of residential property sales across the South Okanagan last year.

There were a total of 2,350 sales worth $1.2 billion in 2020, compared to 1,766 sales totalling $761 million in 2019, according to fresh data from the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.

Demand clearly outstripped supply, as the number of residential listings fell slightly from 3,639 to 3,507, but the average selling price of a single-family home rose from $539,000 to $644,000.

And there’s no sign of the market slowing down yet, as the number of current listings has now plunged to a three-year low, according to OMREB president Kim Heizmann.

“This high demand creates upward pressure on pricing as buyers are willing to pay more to get what they want as they have less options,” she explained in an email Monday.

Approximately half of the region’s deals were recorded in Penticton, where there were 1,066 residential property sales worth $514.5 million in 2020, compared to 828 sales totalling $356 million in 2019.

The average selling price of a single-family home in Penticton rose from $550,000 to $632,000 over that same period. Condominium sales also spiked, with the average unit’s sale price rising from $340,000 to $377,000.

OMREB doesn’t have data on where buyers are coming from, “but we do know the majority of buyers are still from within the region, and then we have a few from Lower Mainland and Alberta.”

“It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in the coming months,” added Heizmann.

“We are seeing some positive signs of new listings activity in the South Okanagan area, but unless more inventory comes to market we could see an even tighter market in early 2021 accompanied by stronger double-digit price growth. Only time will tell.”