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Interest rates subdued real estate market throughout the Okanagan, realtors association says

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It’s been a roller-coaster year for real estate throughout the Okanagan.

After starting the year at an all-time high, residential real estate sales softened at the conclusion of 2022.

A total of 572 residential unit sales were recorded across the region in December 2022, marking a 42.8 per cent decrease in sales compared to December 2021.

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“After a very strong first half of 2022, we began to see market activity moderate amid consistently rising interest rates imposed by the Bank of Canada,”  Association of Interior Realtors President Lyndi Cruickshank said. “Although inventory levels remain tight, the high-interest rates will continue to subdue market activity in the coming months.”

New residential listings saw a decline of 20.7 per cent within the region compared to December 2021 with 651 new listings recorded. However, the overall inventory saw a 93.5 per cent spike with 6,001 units currently on the market at the close of December 2022.


Sales declined in December.


Courtesy: Association of Realtors

Cruickshank said in the year ahead they anticipate inventory will continue to accumulate, as compared to recent years, with all signs pointing to more balanced conditions with buyers and sellers benefitting equally.

The benchmark price for single-family homes in the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, South Okanagan and Shuswap/Revelstoke regions all saw moderate decreases in year-over-year comparisons.

In the Central Okanagan, the December benchmark price for a single-family home went down 3.5 per cent year over year, to $1,002,400 and, on average, it took 64 days for a house to sell, which is a 65 per cent rise from a year earlier.

In the North Okanagan, the benchmark price for a single-family home is $717,100, which is a drop of 0.2 per cent from a year earlier and it’s taking 65 days to sell.

Finally, in the South Okanagan, the benchmark price of a single-family home was $689,500 in December, which is a fall of 4.2 per cent from a year earlier. The number of days it takes to sell a home in that market has also risen to 71.

The benchmark price in all other housing categories saw minor to moderate increases compared to December 2021, with the highest percentage increase in the townhouse category for the North Okanagan up 13.8 per cent compared to December 2021, coming in at $574,400.

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Nanaimo Real Estate Market Report: January 2023 – Nanaimo News NOW

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Nanaimo Real Estate Market Report: January 2023  Nanaimo News NOW

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Montreal home sales down 36% from January 2022: Quebec real estate association

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MONTREAL — The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers says Montreal’s January home sales fell to a level not seen since 2009 as the market slowdown continued.
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The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers says Montreal’s January home sales fell to a level not seen since 2009 as the market slowdown continued. A woman walks by a house for sale in Montreal, Friday, March 4, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL — The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers says Montreal’s January home sales fell to a level not seen since 2009 as the market slowdown continued.

The association says last month’s sales totalled 1,791, down 36 per cent from 2,816 in January 2022.

Charles Brant, the association’s market analysis director, says these numbers mean activity is approaching a historic low for the month of January and come as rising interest rates are weighing on homebuyers.

He says first-time homebuyers in particular are taking a cautious wait-and-see attitude despite recent drops in prices.

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The median price of a single-family home edged down seven per cent to $500,000 year over year, while condos dipped three per cent to $370,000 and plexes dropped six per cent to $675,000.

As median prices fell so did new listings, which hit 4,598 compared with 4,808 a year ago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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B.C. residential real estate investors unfairly ‘painted as speculators’: BCREA

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Statistics Canada released data last week revealing 23.3 per cent of B.C. homeowners are also investors in the market. The Vancouver census metropolitan area (CMA) had an overall investment rate in condominiums and houses of 21.3 per cent.

“Investors often get kind of painted as speculators who are out to buy up housing and do nothing with it, or flippers or any other kind of pejorative terms that we add to investors. But what this data shows, and what’s good to understand, is that they’ve really invested a lot in a primary rental in Canada,” said Brendon Ogmundson. “A lot of the rental units that are being provided are smaller investors who own one unit and are renting it out.”

Statistics Canada defines an investor as an “owner who owns at least one residential property that is not used as their primary place of residence.” 

In B.C., 73 per cent of properties with multiple dwellings were owner-occupied investment properties. Investor-occupants are more common in the province, making up 9.6 per cent of owners.

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This is due to a higher proportion of properties with multiple residential units – 11.7 per cent – such as laneway units or basement suites, according Statistics Canada. The national statistics agency said these types of units are more likely to be owner-occupied.

“So many owners in B.C. have chosen to also be landlords by renting out their basement suites or laneway houses and it’s way, way different than any other province in this dataset,” Ogmundson said. 

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Statistics Canada data breaking down homeowners by investor-type. 
The region of Greater Vancouver A or Electoral Area A, which includes the University Endowment Lands, Barnston Island, Howe Sound communities, Indian Arm and Pitt Lake communities, had a higher proportion of houses and condominium apartments used as an investment at 42.1 per cent compared with the rest of the region. 

The City of Vancouver had a lower proportion at 32.5 per cent.

This difference is attributed to students attending the University of British Columbia, who are more likely to be renters or live in a second property owned by a family member, according to Statistics Canada. 

The proportion of condominium apartments owned for investment purposes by non-resident investors was the highest in B.C. among the provinces – seven per cent.

The rate of condominium apartments used as investment was lower in the Vancouver CMA (34 per cent) than the rest of the province.

Across B.C., non-residents and out-of-province investors owned 43,890 houses used as an investment. This number was typically higher in areas near the Alberta border. 

Out-of-province investors owned 1.6 per cent of homes in B.C., while in-province investors accounted for 9.8 per cent of all investors. 

clwilson@glaciermedia.ca

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