Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

After a sluggish winter the real estate market is picking up in Kamloops and the Okanagan with the number of sales climbing significantly in February from January.

But that comes at a cost to buyers with sale prices up in almost all categories in the region.

The benchmark price for single-family houses in the Central Okanagan rose to $1,009,100 in February, according to data released by the Association of Interior Realtors today, March 5.

That’s the first time since October 2023 the price rose above $1 million but it’s still well below the peak of $1.13 million in April 2022.

Kamloops single-family house prices rose by $3,600 in February to $647,000, the North Okanagan saw a $6,400 increase to $734,500 while the South Okanagan had the biggest increase of $20,700 to $691,000.

The only housing category that saw a decline was for townhomes in the North Okanagan where the benchmark price fell by more than $50,000.

The Central Okanagan saw the biggest increases in townhomes (by $26,900) and condos (by $23,200).

The real estate association’s territory also includes the Shuswap, the Kootenays and the South Peace.

Throughout the region, total sales were 810 up from 603 in January.

“It is refreshing to see overall market activity starting to pick up ahead of spring which is typically a busier season for real estate transactions,” association president Chelsea Mann said in a release.

“With more potential interest rate improvements on the horizon, we are seeing more sellers who were previously hesitant to list gearing to jump in before the general real estate market spring rush.”

There’s also been a big increase in new listings which should help buyers going forward.

Still, the sales increase month to month must be kept in context since January’s sales were the lowest in 10 years.

National real estate firm Rennie reports that the 211 sales in the Central Okanagan in February were the lowest in 10 years and 17% lower than last year.

While sales were up 22% from January, normally February sales were up 48% from January.

The 806 new listings in the Central Okanagan were up 48% from January, twice the normal January to February ratio, Rennie reported. February listings were 121% higher than the average February over the past decade.

The 2,020 active Central Okanagan listings in February were 21% above the 10-year average.

The median price over all housing types was $965,000 in the Central Okanagan. While that’s down from a peak of more than $1 million in 2022 it’s about double what it was 10 years ago, according to Rennie charts.

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