Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate hit record highs in July.
The Kootenay Association of Realtors (KAR) reports that a total of 411 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in July 2020, a rise of 19.4 per cent from July 2019.
The average MLS residential price in the region was $389,684, up 10.3 per cent from July of last year.
Total sales dollar volume in July was $160.1 million, a 31.8 per cent increase over July 2019, which saw $121.4 million in sales.
But KAR president Tyler Hancock doesn’t necessarily think the trend will continue.
“Though sales figures in the region have improved considerably this month, the market is still exhibiting signs of inconsistency,” said Hancock.
”The sharp spike in average prices and dollar volume can be attributed to the demand having sprung back while the supply is low. This dramatic sales growth is likely not a sign of normalcy in the Kootenay real estate market.”
Real estate sales have been steadily increasing over the last three months after taking a hard hit in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
May sales were down by more than 50 per cent compared to May of 2019.
Hancock says it is a demand for single-family homes that has been driving the market increase.
“We are anticipating this demand to continue as more home buyers are drawn to the Kootenays from larger, more densely populated regions,” said Hancock.
“Bringing equilibrium will largely depend on government policies and regulations, especially if we are hit by a second COVID-19 wave.”
While the monthly totals for July set records, year-to-date (YTD) sales dollar volume is actually down slightly at 1.4 per cent below the same period of 2019.
When broken down by sub-region, the West Kootenay accounts for the loss with a 3.7 per cent decrease while East Kootenay sales volume remained about the same as 2019.
YTD residential unit sales are also down by 7.1 per cent. The West Kootenay took the bigger hit with an 11.4 per cent decrease while the East Kootenay recorded a 4.1 per cent decrease.
But the numbers do reveal an improvement in the market compared to May when YTD figures showed a 24 per cent decrease in units sold.
However, the average MLS residential price for the year is up by six per cent at $362,332. For prices, it was the West Kootenay with the larger gain of 8.7 per cent and the East Kootenay with a 4.5 per cent gain.
The West Kootenay sub-region includes Castlegar, Castlegar rural, Grand Forks, Grand Forks rural, Nelson, Nelson rural, Rossland, Trail and Trail rural.
The East Kootenay sub-region includes Cranbrook, Cranbrook Lakes, Creston, Creston rural, Elkford, Fernie, Fernie rural, Invermere, Invermere rural, Sparwood, Radium, Kimberley, Kimberley/Cranbrook rural, Golden and Golden rural.