The number of homes sold in the Kootenay-Boundary last year dropped 23 per cent over 2021, but a representative of a realtors group says it was still “a fairly good year.”
“Like other regions in the province, in the Kootenays we had a strong start to 2022 but with rising interest rates, market activity started to decline from the peak in April,” said Bruce Seitz of the Association of Interior Realtors. “Market conditions remained tight due to low inventory.”
In 2022, a total of 3,066 homes changed hands in the Kootenays. Average prices remained flat but stayed above the $500,000 mark for most of the year. By December, they had dropped to $445,000, the lowest they had been in over a year.
Seitz says last month was the slowest December in the last five years, and the second slowest in the last decade. Ninety-eight residential units sold in December 2022 compared to 182 in December 2021, a decrease of 46 per cent.
However, Seitz said “overall market activity in the Kootenays for 2022 ended off only slightly below average. Compared to the rest of BC we had a fairly good year.”
Seitz said he expects 2023 to start off with a slow market as buyers come to terms with higher interest rates, but he doesn’t expect that to continue for the entire year as the Kootenay remains a popular location.
There were 146 new listings added last month, down 18 per cent from the previous year, for a total of 890 active listings. That number has not topped 1,000 since the peak of the hot market in 2021, Seitz said.
He noted that 2023 property assessments are based on market value as of July 1, 2022, but real estate values fluctuate daily.
“What your home could have sold for last summer doesn’t necessarily mean it will sell for that this winter,” he said, adding that he was not surprised by the across-the-board increases in the Kootenays, since the assessments were done when the market was still strong.
The benchmark price, which realtors say is a better representation of value compared to the average or median price, saw mild increases across all home categories in the Kootenays compared to December 2021. The benchmark price for townhouses saw the greatest increase in year over-year comparison with a 8.9 per cent increase to $445,800.